Can you record a disciplinary meeting? The do’s and don’ts

There are several reasons why you or your employee would choose to audio record a disciplinary meeting – especially if it can be used as supporting evidence in a tribunal.

When it comes to employment disputes, protecting yourself and your business is what counts. So, to clear things up, we’re here to guide you on the process to follow when recording a disciplinary meeting.


Do you have to request permission to audio record a disciplinary meeting?

In short, yes, you should request permission to audio record a disciplinary – especially if you as the employer would like to record the meeting. If the disciplinary is being recorded, it’s important that typed transcripts are provided 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.

An employee might also ask to record a disciplinary meeting for reasons such as:

  • They want to remember what was discussed in the meeting
  • They’re attending the meeting alone
  • For future protection and seeking legal advice


Can you refuse to record a disciplinary meeting?

Ideally, both you and your employee must agree to a disciplinary meeting being audio-recorded. If you don’t want meetings to be recorded, make it clear to all parties from the get-go that recording without consent isn’t allowed.

However, often employees will secretly record meetings. Recording a disciplinary meeting secretly using a mobile phone is easy. Anybody can have their phone in their pocket, under the table and pop the record button on.


How can I prevent employees from audio recording a disciplinary meeting?

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.


Can secret meeting recordings be used as evidence in a tribunal?

To break a potential misconception, the fact that the evidence was gathered secretly doesn’t mean it won’t be allowed to be heard in an Employment Tribunal hearing. 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.

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.


Stay protected with our HR & Employment Law package

Disciplinary meetings are never easy – we get that. And audio recordings can complicate things. But, we’re here for you.

By partnering with us, you’ll benefit from our HR & Employment law package, which gives you access to all of these perks:

  • 24/7 HR advice
  • Advice guarantee to protect you against any employment tribunal claims
  • HR documentation and management all in one handy digital platform – we call it Atlas

So, speak to us today to discuss all this and more.

For further reading on what to expect in disciplinary hearings, why not take a peek at our helpful articles below?

Common disciplinary procedure mistakes

How to hold a disciplinary hearing

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