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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47870
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have just held an investigatory meeting with a member of

Customer Question

I have just held an investigatory meeting with a member of staff, with a witness on her behalf and a note taker. I have just found out through the notes that the meeting was being tape recorded. I wasn't aware it was there however the note taker noticed it and said nothing. Is this illegal? I believe you have to be informed that you are being recorded?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Who made the recording? I am just travelling to the office so won't be able to reply fully until mid morning thanks
JACUSTOMER-d3s4tfze- :

It was the person being investigated and her witness

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. It is not illegal to record meetings, even if all parties to it have not been informed of the recording being made. The main issue that may arise as a result of such a recording being made is in relation to how this is going to be used in the future.

There is actually case law to confirm that secretly recorded meetings can be used as evidence in court and the main factor is what the nature of the meeting was, not whether it was recorded secretly.

The leading case is that of Dogherty v Chairman and Governors of Amwell School. Mrs Dogherty, a teacher in the school, had made secret recordings of an "open" disciplinary meeting that she was subjected to and the subsequent "private" appeal meeting, held in her absence. She then tried to use these recordings as evidence in her claim for unfair dismissal against the school.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal decided the following:

  • The contents of the "open" disciplinary hearing were capable of being secretly recorded as it was directly relevant to the teacher's claim
  • The recording of the "private" appeal hearing was not admissible as evidence. As this was conducted in private, it was not directly relevant to the claim.

A more recent case is that of Punjab National Bank v Gosain, where an employee covertly recorded private discussions made by the employer as part of a grievance and disciplinary hearing. The employer may inappropriate remarks about the employee and the Employment Appeals Tribunal decided that this is admissible evidence as the comments did not form part of the deliberation process of the grievance and disciplinary.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks