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Mixing work with pleasure: the fine line

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HC Online | 15 Oct 2014, 10:16 AM Agree 0
Athena Koelmeyer outlines two recent cases that have underscored the grey area of whether an employer should attempt to intervene and give directions to employees about what they can and cannot do in their “private time”, whilst engaged in work-related travel.
  • caca | 16 Oct 2014, 11:38 AM Agree 0
    So now employers have become parents.
    Now now little one I need to protect you from the big bad world by telling you things that only adults should know and be accountable for.
    Oh wait ... that's right these are adults.
  • Catherine Cahill | 16 Oct 2014, 11:57 AM Agree 0
    I don't know that this is a "fine line". Could we not issue add a blanket statement along the lines of "only company endorsed work related activities can be covered by Workers Compensation. If you engage in non work related activities or activities which breach any of our policies, you will not be covered in the event of any misadventure". You know, a bit like the annual "Don't have too much fun" at the xmas party announcement?
  • Shane | 16 Oct 2014, 12:04 PM Agree 0
    It is more about employers doing what they can to protect themselves from being sued by employees as a result of what the ordinary person, but sadly not the courts, would classify as private conduct.
  • Amanda Rochford | 16 Oct 2014, 12:31 PM Agree 0
    Seriously, a light fixture falls from the ceiling and hits the employee. She is in town on business, is in a motel room paid for by the employer, and because she is having sex the company isnt liable...but would be if she was reading a book? If thats not a moral judgement I dont know what is.

    Its a hotel room, there's a bed, people are going to have sex, the light should stay in the ceiling where it belongs.

    It wasnt the activity of sex that caused the problem it was the faulty light fitting. The employer organised and paid for the accommodation and they have a duty of care to find safe accommodation.

    The person at the bar is a different matter, there is no connection between her attendance at the bar and her employment, therefore it is a private matter.
  • Jennifer | 21 Oct 2014, 11:37 AM Agree 0
    Perhaps the line for liability when travelling & staying away on business can be drawn around working hours, including required attendance at work functions?? As is the case once you're at home, once you're in your temporary accommodation, workers comp does not apply.
    If you choose to go out socialising, as is your right, then it is your personal responsibility & that of the various establishment owners you visit, as it is when you're at home.
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