Policy on Call Recording by Claimants

James C Kelsall made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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James C Kelsall

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

A report issued by the Independent Case Examiner in March 2023 quotes DWP guidance: "a claimant can record calls, but it shouldn't be done without your consent". The guidance is simply referred to as "DWP staff guidance", with no additional description or full document title.

This phrase does not appear in any publicly available DWP staff guidance. There also does not appear to be any reference to the recording of calls by claimants in any policy or guidance intended for claimants.

I would therefore like to request a copy of all policies and guidance which relate to the recording of calls by claimants. This should include the staff guidance which the quotation above has been taken from.

To be entirely clear, this request does NOT relate to the DWP's own recordings of calls. This request relates to claimants who choose to record calls to/from the DWP.

Yours faithfully,

James C Kelsall

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Dear James Kelsall,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 11th

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

James C Kelsall left an annotation ()

It's worth noting that there is no legal obligation to obtain consent before recording a call on a personal device (although there might be an obligation to obtain consent before sharing or publishing that recording depending on the specific circumstances and content of the call).

It also seems that there is no guidance which is easily available to claimants which prohibits recording calls, so the DWP's staff guidance would appear to be based on them wanting to penalise claimants who've done nothing wrong (as is often the case).

It's also worth noting that I am aware of multiple instances in which the DWP penalised an autistic claimant for recording calls where that was necessary as a reasonable adjustment, so it seems that this policy is enforced selectively against claimants that the DWP considers to be problematic (where problematic claimants are often those who have been subjected to prior abuse by the DWP).