Most people have open and honest conversations at work without a second thought regarding whether the conversation is being recorded, they are being videoed, or even if they are behaving appropriately. It’s a natural right to privacy that everyone assumes they have and prevents words from being taken out of context.
After all, in modern society, it is surprisingly easy to offend.
Reasons To Record Conversations
The most common reason to record a conversation at work is when you are being bullied. This is understandable as you are being bullied, probably feel powerless, and a recording will give you proof. This will allow you to talk to an unfair dismissal lawyer and perhaps take the company to court. At the least, it can help resolve the issue.
Legality Of Recording Conversations
In general, people have a right to know if they are being recorded at any time. However, the truth is in modern society every person is recorded on traffic cameras, shop security, company entrance cameras, and a host of other apparatus. Permission is not specifically asked on every occasion.
In some cases, a simple sticker telling people they are being recorded is enough, even if the person doesn’t see it. In others, the recording is linked to public or national security, making it an essential operation and covered by state laws.
However, the rules are a little greyer when recording in your office. There is no doubt that you can start a recording device and ask the other parties to confirm they don’t mind being recorded. That ensures everyone is aware and happy with the recording.
Surprisingly, it is not illegal to record conversations at work. The problem occurs if you try to do anything with the recording.
In the first instance, recording at work is likely to fall foul of your company policy. That means you will technically be in breach of contract and could face disciplinary. Naturally, if you display or replay a recording in any way to the detriment of another party then you can be sued by that party.
Fortunately, most people recording at work are doing it to gather proof and will only show it to an employment lawyer or the courts.
It is worth noting that this is sometimes allowed in as evidence. Providing the person who was recording was present for the entire conversation many judges will allow it. You’ll find it is very rare for it to be allowed if it is a secret recording and you weren’t present at the time.
Naturally, your lawyer will advise you whether it is worth submitting it into evidence or not.
It should be noted that an employer can never record a conversation with an employee unless they have first established consent. That means consent for every conversation you have. Consenting to one does not mean they consented to every conversation being recorded.
If possible, everyone should gain consent before they record. But, if you’re dealing with bullying you’ll probably decide it is worth the risk to try recording without consent.