Adventure Tours Australia declined to pay Megan Elizabeth Woff compensation for the injury she sustained when she was struck by a snapped shackle of a 4WD tour bus which was towing a bogged car. The company reportedly refused to pay compo on the grounds that she was still a trainee at the time.
The company alleged that she was participating in a familiarisation tour – a prerequisite for any potential employee.
But Ms Woff brought the courts her claim that she was a “worker” under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.
Magistrate John Lowndes said: “The breadth of the definition is immediately apparent – it covers a person who is performing work or service not only under a contract but also under an agreement.”
Tour group recruitment manager Steve Wright was unwavering in his feeling that she was simply taking part in a familiarisation tour and thus not an employee by the company at the time .
But Dr Lowndes said: “Mr Wright’s … justification for requiring Ms Woff to go on a familiarisation tour was implausible, illogical and lacked credibility.”
Lowndes was confident that an agreement had been made between Ms Woff and the tour company – rendering them liable for the injury.
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