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How can you reduce the impact of office disputes?

How can you reduce the impact of office disputes?

Director of Lancashire based telecoms company Tech Advance, Ian Hilton, believes office disputes that could potentially disrupt the working environment and reduce productivity in the workplace, could be resolved quicker or avoided entirely if a call recording system were in place.

However in his personal experience he has seen businesses avoid the process due to misconceptions about cost and its legal uses.

Guidelines state that it is now acceptable to monitor or record without consent for the purposes of establishing the existence of facts, ascertaining compliance with regulatory or self-regulatory practices or procedures, and ascertaining or demonstrating standards which are achieved or ought to be achieved by persons using the system.

Furthermore it is acceptable for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime, investigating or detecting unauthorised use of the business’s telecoms system, and ensuring the effective operation of the system.

With any office disputes, all reasonable efforts must be taken to inform all parties of the intent to record or monitor. This is generally achieved via information contained in advertisements, letterheads or within terms and conditions.

Looking more specifically at the system’s potential for resolving office disputes, it also allows you to review call histories should any arise and the recordings of many systems can be used in UK courts. For Dummies reports that the best way to handle an office dispute is to stay in control, stay focused on the issues, and to go to the source of the problem.

Ian Hilton has worked in telecoms for over two decades, and has extensive knowledge of the sector.

Ian stated: “I see a lot of people get put off by call recording due to the legal and ethical minefield that surrounds it. The best advice I can give is don’t treat the system like it’s a tool for spying. Make it clear to employees and customers that your calls are being recorded – that in itself can act as a deterrent to potential misuse, and promote consistent standards of good telephone usage.”

“With regards to costs, it’s a lot cheaper than people think. Call recording technology is now widely available and costs as little as £40 per month, and each system can be tailored to suit the business and budget. Call recording systems connect to your telephone system and capture either all of your calls or calls for specific extensions. Once recorded, the calls are archived and accessible to your system administrators, or can be exported to email if required.”

He concluded: “Only certain types of call recording systems offer recordings permissible in a UK court of law, so in the case of any office disputes, it’s important to take advice beforehand.”

Any person considering interception, recording or monitoring of telephone calls is advised to seek independent legal advice and should not rely on the general information provided above. Property Aspects and Tech Advance accepts no liability or reliance by any person on the above information. The latest regulation for monitoring or recording telephone calls can be found in full in the following publications: –

  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
  • Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice)(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999
  • Human Rights Act 1998