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  • FIRST POST
    • Laurawright
    • By Laurawright 12th Oct 16, 1:12 AM
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    Laurawright
    Advice on the laws of recording a work meeting that resulted in dismissal
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:12 AM
    Advice on the laws of recording a work meeting that resulted in dismissal 12th Oct 16 at 1:12 AM
    Hi

    I've recently been unfairly dismissed from work. I recorded the meeting as the bosses are know in our local area for doing as they please.
    Id had no warnings issued at all at work and no one had bought any issues up prior to this meeting. I had a strange feeling when i was called in to see the bosses so i put my mobile on record.
    I ended up getting dismissed for 2 minor reasons which should of resulted in verbal/written warning not dismissal. Neither of the reasons were true and I have other employees willing to go to a tribunal to verify this.
    I was given no notice just told to go home. This meeting took place just before work ended on a Friday.
    They sent a letter with reasons for dismissing me which I have replyed to on a few occasions and have provided evidence to prove the reasons were fabricated.
    They have since sent a letter of further reasons and statment from 2 member of staff who was present in the meeting saying I got abusive and even threating at points so the had to dismiss me on grounds of miss conduct. None of this was stated In the original reasons for dismissal letter.
    I can prove this is all lies as i have it on record.
    I've told them in a letter and now they are demanding I give them a copy by a certain date.
    I want to take the case to tribunal and I'd like to use the recording as evidence against them.
    Does anyone know if I have to provide the recording to them and also if i can refuse and use it at an employment tribunal?
    Or does anyone know where I could find this information out as so far what I've read had been different depending what page it's on.

    Sorry for the essay! Thank you for reading my post
Page 1
    • _shel
    • By _shel 12th Oct 16, 6:37 AM
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    _shel
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 6:37 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 6:37 AM
    If you provide them with a copy they may realise the error of their ways and settle, meaning you have no need for tribunal.

    You can still use it as evidence after giving them a copy.

    But how long had you been employed there?
    Thanks to everyone who posts competitions
    • paddedjohn
    • By paddedjohn 12th Oct 16, 7:18 AM
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    paddedjohn
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:18 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:18 AM
    Don't bank on the other employees putting their jobs on the line to back you up at a tribunal.
    Be Alert..........Britain needs lerts.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Oct 16, 7:26 AM
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    Guest101
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:26 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:26 AM
    First have you worked there over 2 years? If 'no' then that is the end of any case you thought you had.

    If yes- it's likely you cannot use the recording as evidence, but you can use a transcript. You do not have to provide a copy of the recording, but you will need to provide the transcript in advance of any tribunal claim.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Oct 16, 7:50 AM
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    sangie595
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:50 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:50 AM
    As suggested, a transcript only will be accepted but the tribunal can refuse to accept it as evidence. Secret recordings are not routinely accepted in tribunals, and there is no law to say they must be. Previous EAT rulings (which have the force of law) have only covered recordings which are in the public interest, and that is a very narrow definition. Not one that would cover your circumstances. That is why you cannot find any useful information - there is no definitive answer.

    If you have two years employment then I can see no reason why you wouldn't want to provide them with a copy - regardless of what evidence you have, tribunals are lengthy, costly and stressful (and cannot get you a reference!). They also never pay out what anyone thinks they do! So you would be better off with a settlement and an agreed reference.

    If less than two years, as stated above, you are stuffed, as no amount of evidence will help you unless you are able to bring a claim under something like discrimination laws.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 12th Oct 16, 9:02 AM
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    Undervalued
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:02 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:02 AM
    As suggested, a transcript only will be accepted but the tribunal can refuse to accept it as evidence. Secret recordings are not routinely accepted in tribunals, and there is no law to say they must be. Previous EAT rulings (which have the force of law) have only covered recordings which are in the public interest, and that is a very narrow definition. Not one that would cover your circumstances. That is why you cannot find any useful information - there is no definitive answer.

    If you have two years employment then I can see no reason why you wouldn't want to provide them with a copy - regardless of what evidence you have, tribunals are lengthy, costly and stressful (and cannot get you a reference!). They also never pay out what anyone thinks they do! So you would be better off with a settlement and an agreed reference.

    If less than two years, as stated above, you are stuffed, as no amount of evidence will help you unless you are able to bring a claim under something like discrimination laws.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I agree.

    However if it does come to a tribunal there is also one other advantage in having this recording, even if it is not admissible as evidence. Once the other side are aware of its existence it can help to concentrate their minds on giving truthful evidence as, if they do not, it may provide proof of perjury!
    • Laurawright
    • By Laurawright 12th Oct 16, 9:34 AM
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    Laurawright
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:34 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:34 AM
    I haven't worked there for 2 years but i have read conflicting things about the length of employment need too.
    It says on citizens advice and a few other websites that even if you haven't worked there for 2 years, if you have a strong enough case you can still take it to tribunal.
    I've spoke to a solicitor and he said if you have nit been there for over 2 years then i must be able to prove easily that it's unfair. I feel I could do this especially with them constely changing the reasons in letters.
    I have a telephone call recorded saying I've not been sacked on the grounds of miss conduct, but then after i had wrote to my ex employers and asked for the money they owed and also why they hadent followed the acas guidelines on how to sack an employee they wrote back saying it was because it was in the grounds of miss conduct. They have since changed there mind about this as aparently I was told it was miss conduct I'm the meeting but when I mentioned the recording they wrote another letter saying it nearly lead to misconduct. To be fair it's oviously to anyone that reads all the letters they are clutching at straws as none of the correct procedures for dismissal was followed. Even though I was not there for 2 years I still have some rights.
    The reason I was sacked was because I was according to them, late getting to my work area as I was getting my boots on and tools out. I have sent a photo to them showing my work area well in fact my work bench with the tools and boots in the cupboard next to my work bench so i couldnt of been late as these things were at my work bench.
    The second reason was i wasnt producing enough work, yet I quit my job a few months prior to the sacking happening and have emails from a manager asking me to go back to work and offering me a payrise if i did go back. If my work was so bad surely this wouldn't of happened.
    The day before I was sacked I had put a complaint in against some of my managers as id had enough of how they treated me and the other staff. I made the complaint to HR who said it needed to be in writing and that night after work i started to write it out. The next day I was sacked.
    I've looked in to all the guidelines on acas etc. And it says even if you have only been there a short time certain guidelines still have to be followed. None of them was. No notice given, no warnings issued for these so called problems they had with me, I wasn't payed the 1 weeks notice money as it states in there contract. It has since been payed due to the letter I've wrote.

    Its really frustrating that places of work can still treat people terribly. I'm not the 1st person it's happened to it happens most weeks at this place but no one does anything about it and they just seem to get away with it. I'm willing to represent myself at the hearing as solicitor is to costly and pay the fees for a tribunal.

    The witness's have either quit there job within the last few weeks or still work there but are leaving very soon so they have no conflict of intrest with the work place. They want to be witnesses as they themselves have been treated terribly.

    Thank you for everyone's advise and guidance. I dont have a problem providing the recording to them, it's just annoyed me how they have demanded it within a time frame and said that I was not allowed to record the meeting. I was never offered to have anyone sit in with me which acas guild lines say they should ask if I wanted a witness in the room. So i felt it was the only way to protect myself.

    Thanks again and sorry for another essay! It difficult to explain the situation without someone reading everything that has been put in prior letters.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Oct 16, 9:47 AM
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    sangie595
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:47 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:47 AM
    I'm sorry, but what you have read / been told by the solicitor is rubbish. The strength of your case has nothing at all to do with the time required for a tribunal claim. There is no way that you will be able to claim with less than two years employment - you haven't been discriminated against, whistleblowing doesn't cover this, etc etc. Your case would be thrown out before it started.

    And for future reference, former employees are about as much use as a chocolate teapot as witnesses - the employer always claims they are disgruntled former employees and will find a dozen current employees to testify to the same thing! All it does is make sure that those former employees also never get a reference - and they may not think they need one now, but sometimes stuff happens and they do.

    I am afraid that treating people badly is not good, but it is also seldom unlawful.

    Sorry - save your money. If they dismiss the case you don't get it back, and dismiss it they will. Your only chance here is that the employer doesn't know you can't make a claim (unlikely, but you never know your luck). Send them a strongly worded letter saying that you will be releasing the transcript of the tape as part of your employment tribunal bundle, and until that time your legal advisor (that's me, by the way!) has said they may go whistle. They will be hearing from ACAS for pre-claim procedures in the near future, but in the meantime, if they would like to make an offer of settlement you are open to hearing anything they have to say in writing, and will discuss it with your legal advisor. And any offer will be required to include an agreed good reference from them.

    It's a bluff. It probably won't work. But there's nothing amiss with trying!
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 12th Oct 16, 9:54 AM
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    AndyBSG
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:54 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:54 AM
    If you've not been there 2 years then they can get rid of you for whatever reason they want as long as it's not because of Age, Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Marital Status or Disability.

    So, recording or not you don't have a leg to stand on.
    • Laurawright
    • By Laurawright 12th Oct 16, 9:59 AM
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    Laurawright
    Thank you for your advise i really do appreciate it. I feel like everything I read etc. Is all swings and round abouts. One says jump the other says don't 😊
    I will definitely try what you have suggested as anythings worth a try. To be honest they don't seem like they have a clue what they are doing as their letters are conflicting against the other ones they have previously sent.
    My opinion from what has been put is that they are clutching at straws and don't know how to go about things correctly.
    I will give what you have suggested a go and ill let you know how I get on.

    Thank you again! Everyone's advise has really helped me understand a lot more about how to go about things. I'll update the post as soon as i have a reply back from them.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Oct 16, 10:00 AM
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    sangie595
    If you've not been there 2 years then they can get rid of you for whatever reason they want as long as it's not because of Age, Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Marital Status or Disability.

    So, recording or not you don't have a leg to stand on.
    Originally posted by AndyBSG
    Or other reasons. There are also belonging to or not belonging to a trades union, asserting a statutory right, whistleblowing and so on. Not just discrimination.
    • Laurawright
    • By Laurawright 12th Oct 16, 10:03 AM
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    Laurawright
    I'm new to this site so unsure how I reply to a certain post, sorry! My previous reply was for Sangie595
    • YouAsked
    • By YouAsked 12th Oct 16, 10:06 AM
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    YouAsked
    It doesn't sound nice and it's probably no consolation to you now, but you're probably better off out of it.

    What I'd say is, don't get too hung up on it...even if they had followed the procedure, the eventual outcome would probably have been the same with the only difference being you'd have a week's money too.

    I would write to them as outlined above by Sangie, but don't count on any kind of victory, moral or otherwise.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Oct 16, 10:58 AM
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    sangie595
    I'm new to this site so unsure how I reply to a certain post, sorry! My previous reply was for Sangie595
    Originally posted by Laurawright
    Click on the little orange speech bubble underneath the post you want to quote.

    I would agree with YouAsked - don't hold your breath. But as long as you understand that it is highly unlikely that you will get anywhere, there is no harm in trying. Bluffs sometimes do pay off. Even a token payment and an agreed reference is worth something.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 12th Oct 16, 11:40 AM
    • 545 Posts
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    steampowered
    If you have more than one month's service, you are entitled to receive one week's notice of dismissal (or longer if stated in your employment contract).

    The employer would only be entitled to dismiss you without giving notice in cases of gross misconduct.

    If you didn't receive notice or pay in lieu of notice, it would at least be worth sending a formal letter setting this out and asking for a week's pay (or longer notice period stated in your employment contract).

    If you were so inclined you could claim for notice pay through the small claims track of the county courts. This is much cheaper than doing it through the Employment Tribunal. A covert recording would almost certainly be admissible evidence in the small claims track, although in reality the judge might not be too interested.
    Last edited by steampowered; 12-10-2016 at 11:43 AM.
    • Laurawright
    • By Laurawright 12th Oct 16, 12:56 PM
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    Laurawright
    .Thank you for your comment. They didn't pay the weeks notice at 1st. I wrote a letter stating that they owed this money to me and eventually they payed it.
    I've had another letter today admitting that I was not sacked due to gross misconduct even though I have a previous letter where they have stared I was. I think they are just trying to cover there backs.
    I've never had any verbal or written warnings for anything at the ex employers. This is why it has annoyed me to the point of wanting to take action. Looks like I don't stand much chance though.
    I'm going to try the letter with what has been written above and see what happens.
    Thanks again!
    • polgara
    • By polgara 12th Oct 16, 1:31 PM
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    polgara
    Move on, you have the pay that you are entitled to. Sounds like a lovely place to work!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Oct 16, 4:52 PM
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    FBaby
    I think they are just trying to cover there backs.
    They don't have any back to cover. Their dealing badly with the matter is probably more a case of incompetence and quite likely HR and a manager getting involved with different understanding of the law. The manager might be following guidance from the organisation's policy whilst HR is bypassing it and acting in line with the law.

    The reality is that for whatever reason, they didn't want you to remain in the job. The more positive action is to reflect on the experience, and consider whether your behaviour might have resulted in the outcome, if not being fully responsible, having something to do with it.
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