Is recording a conversation at work legal?
The short answer is maybe !!. You can record a conversation when you are party to the conversation, and those being recorded are also party to the conversation. In that instance you need not tell them they are being recorded.
In the workplace there are traps and the below case from the Employment Authority gives examples of when you can and cannot record.
Admissibility of evidence recorded secretly without consent The Authority was asked by counsel to record its findings about admissibility of evidence in writing as a preliminary determination. The Authority is yet to make a written determination on the substantive issues of this case. The evidence in question comprised three transcripts from recordings made by Ms Firman. The first was a recording of a conversation between Ms Firman and her employer, general manager of Insyn Limited (“Insyn”), Mr Glading. During that conversation, Ms Firman was provided with a letter with respect to a disciplinary process and there was a discussion of suspension. Mr Glading was not aware Ms Firman recorded the conversation. The Authority held that because the conversation was relevant to the matter before the Authority, it was admissible, even though it was recorded without Mr Glading’s consent. The second transcript was from a recording with a cellphone which Ms Firman intentionally placed in order to record a conversation between other staff while she was not present. Ms Firman said she did so in order establish proof that there was gossiping and bullying undertaken toward her by other staff. The Authority noted that recording others secretly when the person recording is not participating in the conversation is not an action in good faith, the individuals are entitled to their privacy and therefore such evidence is generally not admissible. However the Authority held that the second transcript was admissible in the context of Ms Firman’s claim about how she was treated in the workplace. The third transcript was the result of an inadvertent recording of a conversation between Mr Glading and another employee. The Authority held that this third transcript was inadmissible because of its inadvertent nature and that unlike the other recordings, the Authority would have to consider what was meant by certain comments during that inadvertent recording.