Evidence admissible in Employment Tribunal Hearings
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Written on 04 June
The following article specifically considers whether it is
possible to include evidence that an employee has obtained by carrying
out a secret recording of an internal meeting with their ex
The current position as established by case law is that
a recording of a meeting where all concerned parties are
present may be
admissible if relevance can be
demonstrated, however due to grounds of public policy any
recordings of the employers panel will not be admissible.
Chairman and Governors of Amwell View
School v Dogherty UKEAT/024306
The leading authority is the above case in which the EAT held
that an employee’s secret recording of her disciplinary hearing could
be used in evidence before the Tribunal, however the part of the
recording relating to the private deliberations of the disciplinary
panel were excluded on grounds of public policy. The EAT
further commented that had the case been in relation to a
discrimination claim, the deliberations of panel may (dependant on
specific facts) possibly have been admissible.
Williamson v Chief Constable of the
Greater Manchester Police and another UKEAT/0346/09
This case involved disability discrimination, the employee
attempted to adduce evidence of a secret recording of his employers
panel at a capability hearing, the evidence was not allowed to be used
as the recording was made while the employee was out of the room and
the Tribunal considered there was nothing in the recording that had
direct relevance to his discrimination claim.
Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham
and others UKEAT0534
In this case the Tribunal upheld a decision refusing an
employee’s request to allow up to 39 hours of secret recordings of
meetings with her employer and colleagues, the reasons for the refusal
were as follow:
- The employee had not previously disclosed the
recordings or transcripts of the same to her ex employer.
- The employee was only willing to explain the relevance of
the recordings in general terms.
The EAT clarified in this case that had the relevance of the
recordings been succinctly explained and had transcripts been provided
the evidence may have been admissible.
The above case also established:
- Should an employee wish to rely on covert recordings at a
hearing, they should disclose both the transcripts and the recordings
to the employer at an early stage in the proceedings.
- If the employer subsequently wishes to object to the use of
the evidence, the employee can then make an application to the Tribunal
explaining the specific relevance of the evidence in relation to the
issues to be determined by the Tribunal.
- The employee must then provide the Tribunal with a copy of
the transcript well in advance of the hearing in order for the Tribunal
to make a decision regarding relevance and admissibility.
Written by Rehana Ali
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2014-06-27 09:05:32 in Legal Articles