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Daily Archives: July 19th, 2012

So the Federal Court’s broader interpretation of the scope of ‘in the course of employment’ in relation to activies arising out of work-related obligations (ie, stuff you do in your free time when you are away from home on a work assignment) is to be appealled to the Full Bench.

July 19, 2012 – 12:48PM
Paul Bibby

A public servant who fought for and won workers’ compensation for an injury sustained while having sex in a motel room on a work trip could have the money taken away after the Commonwealth appealed to a full bench of the Federal Court.

In November 2007, the woman – who cannot be named – had been sent by her government employer to a country town for a departmental meeting and put up in a hotel.

The night before the meeting she suffered facial and psychological injuries when a glass light fitting came away from the wall above the bed as she was having sex with a male friend.

The Commonwealth workers compensation agency Comcare originally rejected her application for compensation – a decision upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


But this year Justice John Nicholas of the Federal Court overturned that decision, finding that the woman was entitled to compensation on the grounds that she was ”in the course of her employment” when the injury occurred.

However, Comcare has now appealed against this decision. Court documents show that Comcare will claim that having sex on a work trip was not an activity that was “expressly or impliedly induced or encouraged” by the woman’s employer.

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