Crowley v Pybar Mining Services Pty Ltd  NSWWCCPD 10 (29 March 2017)
The determination of the appeal in Crowley explored the liability of the employer, where a worker sustained an injury during a fundraising event. The key considerations included whether the employer or the host employer had organised the event, whether there was ‘encouragement, authorisation or inducement’ by the employer or the host employer for the worker to attend, and whether silence could equate to ‘implied inducement’.
During the initial proceedings, the Arbitrator found that the worker did not suffer an injury in the course of his employment, within the definition of section 4 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (the 1987 Act). The worker appealed from the decision slightly out of time, challenging the Arbitrator’s finding of fact.
DP Roche rejected all grounds of appeal, and refused the worker’s application to extend the time for making an appeal. The critical factors considered included the following:
- The event was not organised by the respondent.
- The event was not organised by the host employer.
- The event was voluntarily organised by the workers.
- There was no ‘encouragement, authorisation or inducement’ by the respondent for the worker to attend the event.
- The worker was not rostered to work on the day of the event.
- Any mention of the event during meetings by the host employer were simply reminders of the event to raise money for charity.
- Silence by the respondent during meetings mentioning the event did not equate to ‘implied inducement’.
- There was no evidence that the worker had attended the event with the belief that it would be a bonding experience, promoting an ‘esprit de corps’.