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If you’re nervous about a disciplinary hearing, you may want to secretly record your boss during the disciplinary procedure. Can you do this legally? Can you use this as evidence? Scorpion Legal Protection gives you 2 facts about recording a disciplinary hearing in South Africa.
Having to attend a disciplinary hearing means you may already be nervous about asking permission to record it. While it may be polite to ask permission, you do not have to do so. Section 4 of the RICA Act “permits the interception of any communication if the individual is a party to the communication”. A person is a “party to the communication” if he or she is in the room or part of the discussion. This means that legally, you are allowed to make a secret recording of the procedure whether your boss and others in the room know about, and agree to it, or not.
If someone else who was at the disciplinary hearing sends you secretly recorded audio of a conversation they had during that meeting, you are allowed to use it. For example, one of the managers at the hearing talks to another manager at the hearing and records him saying that the company has already decided to fire you, even though the disciplinary process and investigation is not yet over. This would help you prove that the company did not follow the disciplinary procedure fairly. You were not part of this conversation (you were not a ‘party to the communication’), but the manager who sent it to you has given you permission to use the recording in your case (she was a ‘party to the communication’).
The above can be introduced as evidence during a disciplinary hearing, at the CCMA or Bargaining Council or even in court.
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* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 12 September 2022
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