Should an employer agree to an employee’s request to record a meeting?
It is difficult to justify refusing an employee’s request to record a meeting: whilst recordings are seldom very useful (unless you have lots of time on your hands to listen through them) they are likely to resolve any challenge to the accuracy of notes taken at the meeting.
There is also a risk of discrimination if a disabled employee is put to a disadvantage by being refused permission.
So, whilst allowing meetings to be recorded presents real practical challenges, it is better to agree to it than to refuse (and risk that the employee covertly records anyway).
Tip: If recordings are permitted, the employee can be asked to assign the intellectual property in the recording to the employer, this will prevent them from using it inappropriately.
Tip 2: Get the employee to agree: to have the recording typed up, to certify that the transcript is exactly the same as the recording, and to provide a copy of the recording. Warn the employee that if the transcript is materially different from the recording this may constitute misconduct.
If an employee records a meeting covertly, can they use it as evidence at Employment Tribunal?
Employment Tribunals take a generous view on the admissibility of such evidence and recordings (even covert ones) will normally be admissible.
Can an employer covertly record a meeting?
This is not advisable as it is likely to breach data protection principles and the implied duty of trust and confidence. There is no good reason to do this: the sensible thing is to do so openly.