What are the rules on recording meetings, one-to-ones, or video calls?

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Posted 23rd Apr
When it comes to keeping a paper trail of something, email is fantastic as it is undeniable proof.

I'm sure I'm not the only one, using an example, an occasion where colleagues/managers will tell you to do something in a meeting, then down the line when it comes back to bite, you have no proof, and you're up poop creek without a paddle with no one backing you up.

I was thinking the best way to combat this, would be to record the conversation - but do you have to disclose that before pressing record?
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google.co.uk/amp…mp/

Seems ok as it’s just for personal use.
Edited by: "legionofwhom" 23rd Apr
One to ones you have it documented and both sign. Or Independent witness, if it discipline you can take someone in with you...
legionofwhom23/04/2020 11:06

google.co.uk/amp/s/www.dma-law.co.uk/is-it-illegal-to-record-conversations/amp/Seems ok as it’s just for personal use.


It seems if I was to use that recording as proof, either in HR or to my line manager, then I could be in trouble?
Bargainhead23/04/2020 11:08

One to ones you have it documented and both sign. Or Independent witness, …One to ones you have it documented and both sign. Or Independent witness, if it discipline you can take someone in with you...


That kind of makes sense.

If there was a team meeting, and you want to record it, you would need consent from everyone?
darkstryder36023/04/2020 11:12

It seems if I was to use that recording as proof, either in HR or to my …It seems if I was to use that recording as proof, either in HR or to my line manager, then I could be in trouble?


Well if you’re reporting wrongdoing then possibly you would be ok. However as that would be passed to a another party may be an issue.
Not 100% sure. Your HR may be able to clarify.
legionofwhom23/04/2020 11:21

Well if you’re reporting wrongdoing then possibly you would be ok. However …Well if you’re reporting wrongdoing then possibly you would be ok. However as that would be passed to a another party may be an issue.Not 100% sure. Your HR may be able to clarify.


Ok that makes sense. There is probably something in the "employee handbook" that clarifies.

Its strange how you're allowed to take notes of a meeting, yet if you start recording voices, then it becomes a breach of privacy.

I could transcript an entire meeting without recording anything, much like in a court room (not sure if that still happens)?
You can record anything you like WITHOUT consent - but you CANNOT use this recording as proof or evidence in a legal setting. Only by getting consent from ALL parties, can the recording be used as evidence in a legal (or otherwise) case. In fact, if you were to use a recording; made in secret; in any kind of 'public' setting, you could conceivably have a case brought against you.

If you are just wishing to record something for reviewing later to 'help' your recollection of an event then I don't see a problem. If you were to then use that recording to 'prove' something was not how it was initially reported then; unless you had consent; it would not be admissible as evidence.
Email afterward confirming what was said?
Without permission from those being recorded there is a potential you could be breaching GDPR principles.
Phsycronix23/04/2020 11:35

You can record anything you like WITHOUT consent - but you CANNOT use this …You can record anything you like WITHOUT consent - but you CANNOT use this recording as proof or evidence in a legal setting. Only by getting consent from ALL parties, can the recording be used as evidence in a legal (or otherwise) case. In fact, if you were to use a recording; made in secret; in any kind of 'public' setting, you could conceivably have a case brought against you.If you are just wishing to record something for reviewing later to 'help' your recollection of an event then I don't see a problem. If you were to then use that recording to 'prove' something was not how it was initially reported then; unless you had consent; it would not be admissible as evidence.


Extreme fictional example here;

Say a Manager calls you every fruitful name under the sun, you go to HR with the non-consented recording - who is then in a worse position?
darkstryder36023/04/2020 11:57

Extreme fictional example here;Say a Manager calls you every fruitful name …Extreme fictional example here;Say a Manager calls you every fruitful name under the sun, you go to HR with the non-consented recording - who is then in a worse position?



I couldn't answer that from a solid POV as there is an obvious "human" aspect to that scenario. From a strict POV, even though you would have 'proof' of what was said, it shouldn't be taken as such if any disciplinary hearing were to take place as the recording was not permissive.

As to a 'worse' position - I would have to say: you. Not only from a 'legal' aspect but also from the social stigma that would ultimately follow - not only from your colleagues (including HR) but the particular Manager in question. I don't think you would ever be trusted again - but; of course; many people would (and I'm sure WILL!) say they wouldn't care a jot about what people think...
I think the main question here is - motive? I's sure you do not wish to disclose your reasoning but if you wish to record something because you feel you might be put in a compromising situation by upper Management (or an individual) - a case of their word against yours - then you have to take a hardline approach. I would have no qualms about going in to a meeting or disciplinary hearing (where I know my job/reputation/etc. is "on the line" ) and ask to record the conversation. Apart from that, as already mentioned previously I would insist on someone else I can trust to be impartial being present.

To take your 'hypothetical' scenario as an example - if HR questioned the Manager and they said "No, I never said anything of the sort" and your recording were to be played and the contrary were observed, then the 'human' element cannot be avoided. They would know the Manager lied - but also, they would have an obligation to ignore the recording if it was made without the Manager's knowledge. Of course, a companies HR dept. is not a court of law. The least that would happen is the Manager would apologise for their behaviour but then the moral implication of your actions follow. The more severe action of this scenario would be disciplinary action against said Manager but this could then be challenged by the Manager as the 'evidence' is inadmissible. Then, when the dust settles the moral implication rears it's head for you yet again...
Right. I'm going to eat my words now. I've never been one NOT to hold my hand up if I'm wrong and after a quick read of this link, I think I am on a certain point:

personneltoday.com/hr/…gs/

I was intrigued to read the section about "covert" recordings.

Quote:
"If an employee records a meeting covertly, can they use it as evidence at an employment tribunal?

Yes. Employment tribunals take a generous view on what evidence is admissible. The fact that a meeting is recorded in secret does not mean it cannot be used as evidence."


However, most of the article does still uphold what I have been told by someone in the legal profession in the past. It is also a relatively old article.
The Civil Procedure Rules govern legal proceedings in England and Wales. Recordings obtained without someone’s consent can be used as evidence in legal proceedings. They are “admissible”.
However, under Rule 32.1(2)“the court may use its power under this rule to exclude evidence that would otherwise be admissible.”
Therefore, a court may use Rule 31.1(2) to exclude from the proceedings any evidence that has been obtained illegally, unfairly, or improperly. This includes, for example, evidence obtained in breach of the ECHR (i.e. breach of privacy), and could also encompass evidence that has been obtained covertly or without consent.

In the case of Jones v University of Warwick, mentioned above, the court did not exclude the covert recording that had been obtained after deceiving the claimant into inviting the inquiry agents into her home. There were numerous reasons for this decision which relate to the facts of the case. One reason was that the video recording had formed part of both parties’ expert evidence, and to dismiss it would have required entirely new experts.

The court said that “it was not possible to reconcile perfectly the conflicting public interests that arose, namely, on the one hand, that in litigation the truth should be revealed and, on the other hand, that the courts should not acquiesce in, let alone encourage, a party to use unlawful means to obtain evidence.”

Although the evidence was allowed, the court penalised the defendant (who obtained the evidence) by ordering them to pay a significant portion of the claimant’s legal fees.

bailii.org/ew/…tml

justice.gov.uk/cou…les

Depending on their content, covert recordings may raise issues of breach of privacy, breach of confidence, or breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The breach of privacy under Article 8 of the ECHR provides that everyone has a right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence.
darkstryder36023/04/2020 11:57

Extreme fictional example here;Say a Manager calls you every fruitful name …Extreme fictional example here;Say a Manager calls you every fruitful name under the sun, you go to HR with the non-consented recording - who is then in a worse position?


I'd refer to the whistle blowing policy. How do you think these carehomes with hidden cameras catch dodgy staff out? Or restaurants appear on rogue traders where employee wore a secret camera?
Easy and best way is type up a quick note of understanding..

Email it to everyone stating what you think happened and then have them confirm or state if you have any variation to this please respond by x date..

Then go on with life..
darkstryder36023/04/2020 11:57

Extreme fictional example here;Say a Manager calls you every fruitful name …Extreme fictional example here;Say a Manager calls you every fruitful name under the sun, you go to HR with the non-consented recording - who is then in a worse position?


There are lots of variables. Who comes off worse will depend on the following external and personal factors. Besides, "worse" is a nebulous quantity.
You will always have an upper hand, because you have this recording for eternity and for eternal use.
As to you with the "black sheep" label, this is temporary, you can control where you will work in future.

For both of you, "when it's good, no one remembers, when it is bad, it is unforgettable." Some people always love recorded crap as you can put them up on HOTUKD, Instagram, Facebook...
Edited by: "splender" 23rd Apr
@darkstryder360

Your solution, based on what you had written, " an occasion where colleagues/managers will tell you to do something in a meeting, then down the line when it comes back to bite, you have no proof, and you're up poop creek without a paddle with no one backing you up. "

1. Volunteer to take notes, or minutes of the meeting, and then circulate to all attendees.
2. After video meeting, write down the points and actions, and send this in an email for review and confirmation.
If it comes to something nasty to you, use this case Law : Case law: Court rules secret recording can be used in evidence, but advises caution.

It has always been possible, a frequent ploy used, defendant asks the evidence to be made inadmissible. The judge is able to apply the various procedural rules. This is another case law to help you here, Case ref: Singh v Singh and Ors [2016] EWHC 1432


icaew.com/arc…nce
Actually.. what would be good (esp those with auto record apps on their mobiles) is a pre-recorded message informing other person that the conversation will be recorded. Pref in the form of a free app too. (I have call recorder on my phone as default, albeit have never needed to use it) - actually, just the once.. when my friend and I got into a right heated argument and she said I started it, which I denied during the call. Listened back, and she was right
samwants2save23/04/2020 13:47

Actually.. what would be good (esp those with auto record apps on their …Actually.. what would be good (esp those with auto record apps on their mobiles) is a pre-recorded message informing other person that the conversation will be recorded. Pref in the form of a free app too. (I have call recorder on my phone as default, albeit have never needed to use it) - actually, just the once.. when my friend and I got into a right heated argument and she said I started it, which I denied during the call. Listened back, and she was right


Yours is a good idea, tell others that you are recording every conversation for self training purposes, for self-improvement.

Rather like face masks, which are used to prevent oneself from hurting others in a bi-directional protection.
Fk I'd be very well of if I had been able to record what was going on with me at a past place of work. I did ask if I could, but was told I couldn't.
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