In a workplace environment that is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the use of personal technology, it is imperative for employers and employees to know, understand, and implement proper procedural guidelines for the use of recording devices during management and/or disciplinary meetings between employees and employers.

Currently, under the Surveillance Devices Act of 1999 and 2007, it is prohibited for an employee or an employer to record a management or disciplinary meeting. Such conversations per section 11(1) of the 1999 Devices Act prohibits the knowing communication or publication of a private conversation between two participating parties.

The exceptions to this rule are as follows per section 11(2):

(a) a communication or publication made with both parties’ consent

(b) a communication or publication that is no more than is reasonably necessary to protect the public interest, or for the protection of the lawful interests of the person making it; or

(c) a communication or publication in the course of legal proceedings or disciplinary proceedings

(d) a communication or publication of protected information; or

In the absence of these specific waivers, the recording of any business discussion, transaction, or meeting, without the express consent of all parties involved, is legally prohibited.

Employers should consider taking the following protective measures when meeting with employees regarding sensitive business issues or disciplinary issues:

1) Require that all employees leave their mobile devices in a locked drawer in their desk, or their personal office space, during the course of employment meetings.

2) All procedures and policies regarding the use of personal mobile devices in the work place should be clearly outlined within the employment guidelines and personnel and human resources procedural manuals.

3) Give prior notice to any employee who will be required to attend an employment meeting and allow for a third party recording, pursuant to the consent of all parties, be made during the course of the conversation. A verified copy of the third party recording will then be supplied to all participating parties.

Employees should consider that upon receipt of notice of a meeting regarding sensitive work place issues to request:

1) The opportunity to have employment counsel present

2) A request that the participants of the meeting consent to a third party recording, in the same vein as that described statement 3, for the employees’ same legal protection.

In the event that you are faced with these particular issues and concerns, please contact the offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs.

Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 780 770.