Blog

  • Home
  • Health & Safety
  • From down under a decision we are sure that turned the employer 50 shades of grey!
You Are Here:

From down under a decision we are sure that turned the employer 50 shades of grey!

Posted on | Posted in Health & Safety

In Australia, in PVYW v Comcare, the Federal Court of Australia was asked to consider whether a worker of a Commonwealth Government Agency, who was injured while having sex on a business trip, sustained her injuries in the course of her employment.

The Tribunal decided that the employee’s sexual activity was not an ordinary incident on an overnight stay, such as eating, showering or sleeping. It was a recreational activity that was not “countenanced” by her employer. Therefore, her injuries were not related to her employment and were of a private nature.

However, the employee argued that the word ‘countenance’ means not only to ‘support or approve’ but to ‘tolerate or permit’. There was no positive evidence to suggest that the sexual activity was not ‘countenanced’ by the employer.

Although accepted by both parties that the employee was not encouraged to partake in such activity, there was nothing to show that the employer either approved or disapproved of such activity.

The fact that the employee was engaged in sexual activity should not be treated any differently than had she been engaged in another recreational activity such as swimming in the motel pool, for example. The Tribunal decided, therefore, that as the injuries she sustained where sustained in a motel room where her employer had encouraged her to stay, there was a sufficient connection between her injuries and her employment.

A decision we are sure that turned the employer 50 shades of grey!

Trethowans www.trethowans.com

0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts
11 Nov 2020

Staying cyber-safe when working from home – Guest blog by Fiona Kent, Marketing Manager at InfoSec Partners

Many businesses had to quickly put measures in place to enable staff to work at home during the COVID-19 lockdown and for the majority, remote working is set to become the new normal for the foreseeable future. As such, the lines between work and home life have become increasingly blurred, more fluid, some may say,[…..]

Latest Posts
02 Nov 2020

Let’s celebrate Menopause – Guest blog by Clare Davis of Nova Associates

“I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life”. Maya Angelou. Why do people shy away from the topic of menopause with their loved ones?   Are you between the age of 45 and 55? Do you realise this is when menopause occurs for the majority of women, one in[…..]

Latest Posts
29 Oct 2020

Mind the gap? Not when it comes to CVs…

When sifting through CVs to recruit for jobs in Basingstoke, a significant gap in a candidate’s employment history might glare at you like a red light. Did they leave a job abruptly with no new role to go to? Why? Are they fickle? Lazy? Hard to get along with? Maybe they were sacked? These are[…..]

Latest Posts
30 Sep 2020

Latest Guidance: Should My Employees be Working from Home? – Guest blog by Lamb Brooks

Yesterday’s announcement from the Prime Minister saw a U-turn away from the government’s previous message of ‘getting office workers back into the workplace’ by announcing that those who can work from home, should return to doing so. For some workplaces, the decision had already been made that employees would continue to work remotely with no[…..]

Latest Posts
23 Sep 2020

What is Mental Health First Aid? – Guest Blog by Clare Davis, Director of Nova Associates

What do you think Mental Health first Aid is? When I tell people I am a Mental Health first Aid instructor, I often get asked, “Are you a counsellor” or “Are you a psychologist?” Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is not about fixing people. It is not about being a therapist. Regular (physical) First Aid[…..]