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Secretly recording a meeting was not gross misconduct as no intention to entrap

Makbool Javaid

In Phoenix House Ltd v Stockman, an ET found S’s dismissal to be procedurally unfair. During the hearing it emerged that S had made a covert recording of a meeting with the Director of Resources and the ET reduced S’s compensation by 10% because of her conduct in this respect. The employer appealed arguing that any secret recording was a breach of trust and confidence, as it is dishonest, and no compensation should have been awarded. The EAT rejected the appeal. An ET is not bound to conclude that a covert recording of a meeting necessarily undermines trust and confidence to the extent that it amounts to gross misconduct. That said, it is good employment practice for an employee or an employer to say if there is any intention to record a meeting other than where there is proper justification (e.g. protecting against the risk of misrepresentation), and it will generally amount to misconduct not to do so. The ET must assess the circumstances and here it had found that S had not recorded the meeting with the intention of entrapment, it just concerned her own position, and it had not involved the recording of any confidential. Information. In Paragraphs 77 to 79 the EAT provide useful guidance on how the issue of secret recordings should be addressed in today’s workplace.


The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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