Modern technology makes it very easy for employees to covertly record disciplinary or other hearings, including private meetings relating to work.

Tribunals and disciplinary meetings

In some instances, when employees record meetings without consent and capture recordings of conversations where discriminatory or unfair comments are made, the court will not accept that there is no public policy interest in maintaining the confidentiality of such conversations.  Therefore, employers should not assume that recordings made covertly by employees will be inadmissible.

Employers monitoring employees

On the other hand, by making covert recordings of employees outside work, employers run the risk of disregarding the Employment Practices Code issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office.  In this code there is a particular section that deals with the use of covert recordings, which provides helpful tips.  In addition if employers are also monitoring their employees’ telephone calls, they need to comply with the appropriate regulations.  However, telecommunications can be monitored without first obtaining the employees’ consent in a number of different situations; including to prevent or detect crime.