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What are the tribunal rules for admission of covert recordings?

Recently we have seen an increasing number of cases involving covert recordings and their admissibility in tribunal proceedings, so what does the law say in this area?

The Tribunal Rules give judges a wide discretion when considering evidence. The general understanding is that tribunals should hear all the evidence that is relevant even in instances where an employee has made covert recordings of internal hearings. However, if an employee somehow managed to obtain a covert recording of a closed session, i.e. private conversations between the decision panels making a decision, the recording will likely be inadmissible.

Here are a few simple steps to help you avoid an argument for admission of covert records: 

  1. Implement a policy which either expressly allows or forbids an employee from recording hearings. You should assess whether or not it would be beneficial for you to have the meetings recorded as it can be more of an accurate record than minutes and keep you focused on the issues at hand.
  2. Ensure all employees are aware of any policy relating to covert recordings. 
  3. Train managers on the implementation of the said policy, ensuring they deal with matters flexibly when dealing with disabled or potentially disabled staff members. 

It goes without saying that it is in your best interest to keep accurate records of any discussion, whether it be during the disciplinary/grievance process or a private hearing, and it may even make or break a tribunal case. 

As always if I can provide you with any further assistance on issues relating to covert recordings or updating policy documentation, please do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation on 0113 350 4030 or samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk


Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here. 

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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