Duty of Care on Rostered Day Off

Does duty of care extend to workers on rostered days off? A recent court judgement in Queensland makes the case that workers on rostered days off are covered if they are injured in the course of their employment.

 Airline employees and other workers, including those who work on a fly-in, fly-out basis, could be affected by the success of legal action taken by a long-haul flight attendant employed by Qantas.

A Qantas employee was injured in a motorbike accident while travelling to Brisbane on a rostered day off. It was the day before he was due to fly to Sydney to renew his US visa, a Qantas employment requirement.

The employee made a workers’ compensation claim but it had been rejected.

However the Queensland Industrial Court ruled the injuries were suffered in the course of employment, which was a significant contributing factor to his injuries.

“But for his employment, the employee would not be injured,” the court said.

Employers who require workers to travel in their own time to meet job requirements need to be aware that this case creates a precedent as to their duty of care. Clearly the courts see that an employee will be covered for incidents that cause an injury even if they are on a day off if it can be shown that the worker was travelling on employer request or in order to meet job conditions.

Full details are available on this Queensland Industrial Court case.

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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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