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Ideally, yes, you should request permission to audio record a disciplinary – especially if you as the employer would like to record the meeting.
However, often employees will secretly record meetings. To break a potential misconception, the fact that the evidence was gathered secretly doesn’t mean that it won’t be allowed. If the Employment Tribunal think that the evidence is relevant, then it’ll be admitted – providing the employer is given the evidence before the hearing, of course.
If you don’t want meetings to be recorded, make it clear to all parties from the get-go that recording without consent is not permitted.
You can ask parties to switch off their mobile phones or any other portable devices, or to even place them on the table where they can be seen.
If you take breaks, ask all parties to remove their personal belongings from the room. This will reduce the risk of recording devices being left in the room while discussions are taking place.
If you decide that you want to record the proceedings, make this clear to all parties and provide them with typed transcripts after the meeting – bear in mind that this can be time consuming though.
Also, remember to keep the recordings in case they’re needed in the future to check legitimacy.
To err on the side of caution, we’d advise you to always assume that you’re being recorded and that what you say will be admissible in an Employment Tribunal.
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