It is a well known fact that it is good practice to maintain good audit trails through written records of discussion to log performance both good and bad in respect of employees. However is it a good idea to allow an employee to make an audio recording of a formal or informal meeting?
A number of employers believe that when an employee attends a meeting, such as a grievance or disciplinary hearing, particularly if they waive their statutory right to be unaccompanied, it is reasonable to allow them to tape record the meeting if they request to do so.
Harries HR’s suggests that permission for such request should not be given. We recommend explaining that they may take notes and that you will take minutes of the meeting and that they will be provided with a copy and will be given the opportunity to query any points they consider to be inaccurate. This will ensure a true record of the discussion can be mutually agreed.
Tape recordings can be tampered with and the quality of the recording can give the opportunity for misinterpretation, potentially leaving the company exposed to risk.
Audio recordings are admissible as evidence at a tribunal as long as both parties have copies of the recording and a transcript in advance.
Though one may disallow recordings employees may still secretly record any meeting you have with them.
It is essential therefore to always ensure that you seek advice from an expert such as a CIPD or employment law qualified individual! Choose your words carefully! Remember that if dealing with a difficult employee you can always adjourn the meeting to allow time to ‘regroup’ or even seek further advice as to how to proceed.
If you need assistance dealing with a difficult employee issue and would like further support then please call Harries HR who can provide support on a pay as you go or retained basis!