With effect from 20 November 2023, all employment tribunal proceedings in England, Wales and Scotland will be audio recorded where there are facilities in place to do so. In practice, the change is likely to affect remote hearings for the time being, given that the majority of tribunals in England and Wales are not currently set up for audio recording in person hearings.

Subject to two limited exceptions and available facilities, all hearings that may occur during an employment claim will be recorded (whether preliminary, case management, full hearings, or  remedy hearings). As mentioned, in theory the aim is to record both in person and remote hearings including those that take place in private.

While an audio recording may be used for the limited purpose of helping the tribunal prepare its judgement, for example, it will only be in exceptional cases and following a successful application to the tribunal within six months of the hearing date, that a party or representative will be able to access a recording. The tribunal’s written judgement and reasons will remain the definitive expression of the tribunal’s judgement in any case.

Importantly, there is no change to the current prohibition on any parties, witnesses, representatives, or members of the public/press recording a hearing without the tribunal’s permission. Where this rule is ignored, individuals will either be in contempt or in the case of visual recordings, will have committed an offence. 

A Presidential Practice Direction has been published, with supporting guidance, to facilitate the change in approach.


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