Employers in the UK might think are vulnerable to any manner of speculative or vexatious claims from employees, however they should be grateful they aren’t in Australia, where a recent case will have the Institute of Directors and Tory MPs spluttering into their copies of the Daily Telegraph.
Roll on Friday, the purveyor of legal news and salacious gossip, carried this story (which also featured in the Australian Telegraph) about an HR executive required to travel for a meeting and to stay overnight in a motel. During this overnight stay she had sex with a male acquaintance (not a work colleague), which led to her sustaining facial injuries and psychiatric injury from a falling light fitting.
She sued her employer on the basis that the injuries had been sustained “during the course of her employment”. RoF reports the rationale for this thus;
“Justice Nicholas stated that she didn’t have to show that her employer had encouraged or induced her to have sex, “If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation“. And as sex is a lawful activity, she should be compensated for her injuries.”
I’m wondering if the court was asked to consider whether any degree of contributory negligence applied to her for not checking that the chandelier was safe before she started swinging from it.
Thanks to @taruntawakley whose tweet brought it to my attention.