Covert Recordings – What’s an Employer to do?

It would be wise for employers to recognise that it is becoming more common for what is termed “covert” recording during disciplinary and grievance proceeding by employees. That is, employees are taking it upon themselves to secretly record the meeting, without the knowledge of the other participants.

So, what do the Employment Tribunals say? Are these “covert” recordings admissible or not?

Secret recordings taken by an employee during a disciplinary hearing or a meeting will generally be admissible evidence where all parties are present. Where an employee continues to secretly record, when they have left the room and captures private discussions between the manager and HR, a tribunal will tend to frown on this and not accept this as evidence.

What steps can an employer take?

  • You may want to clearly state in your company policy that employees are not permitted to record meetings.
  • You may want to consider recording all meetings.
  • When meetings are adjourned ask/ensure employees and their representatives take their belongings with them.
  • Ask the employee if they are recording the meeting and if appropriate ask the employee to show you their phone to make sure.
  • And, assume that you are being recorded during the meeting.

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