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Perspective

When I am not at work, I’m working – Workers’ Comp and sport

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In Local Government Association Workers Compensation Scheme v Rizovski [2020] SAET 85, the City of West Torrens (CWT) was held liable for injuries its worker (Mr Rizovski) sustained when participating in an out-of-work sporting activity for a CWT team.

The event was hosted by the City of Adelaide. CWT forwarded the event invitation to workers (subject matter including the words “B in it” and citing opportunities for relationship building) and funded its participating workers uniforms and registrations. Workers attendance was voluntary. However, one worker participant approached Mr Rizovski repeatedly over three weeks (with CWT’s permission).

The basis for CWT’s liability was the above actively encouraged Mr Rizovski’s attendance and amounted to a request for Mr Rizovski to attend (caught by the Local Government Association Workers Compensation Scheme).

Lessons:

  1. While it is always great to engage workers in various out-of-work social and sporting activities, employers need to be aware of workers compensation liabilities when doing so and
  2. To avoid workers compensation liability, employers need to be clear this is not a work activity. The purchase of uniforms and support is not fatal but encouraging employees to attend and driving a narrative that it is representative of the organisation is fatal.
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