Can you secretly tape employee meetings?
I posed this question on Facebook recently and one would think the answer is no BUT like everything in the employee and employer relationship there are twists and turns to be aware of. McKays Solicitors did a super information sheet in February this year.
In Queensland, it is legal for a face to face conversation to be secretly recorded by a person who is a party to the conversation. This means the employer may secretly record a meeting with an employee without committing an offence, as can the employee. However, the danger with secretly recording a meeting is that it is arguably a breach of the employee’s trust and confidence. An employee might therefore claim that as a result of the secret recording the employment relationship broke down, giving them no choice but to resign. It is possible that the employee could succeed in an unfair dismissal claim on this basis. You should therefore refrain from making a secret recording of a meeting other, than a termination meeting, and even then you should exercise caution. A better option is to seek the employee’s consent to the recording. Although you should bear in mind that telling an employee you are taping a conversation can put them employee on their guard meaning they may be less likely to speak candidly about past events or admit a need to improve performance. By the same token, if an employee secretly records a meeting, an employer might claim that is a breach of trust and therefore grounds for dismissal. This issue is yet to be fully explored by the Fair Work Commission, so you should take advice
Click here for the information sheet Can you secretly tape