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16.10.2 Case law and explanation


For instance, in the case of McCallum and Comcare (1993) an employee required to travel to a country town was injured while showering at her hotel before going to her place of work and was judged to have been injured in the course of employment. The injury was said to have occurred during an interval in an overall period of employment (the overall period of employment being the whole absence from home and temporary residence for work purposes).

In the case of Kennedy v Telstra Corporation Limited (1994) the employee, living temporarily in a hotel for work purposes (i.e. similar to McCallum) was initially judged to be 'on a frolic of his own' by the AAT when he left his hotel for a few beers and to watch the dogs instead of returning to his own hotel after dinner. However, a later review (1995) by the Federal Court found that he had been injured 'during an interlude or interval in the course of employment' because it transpired that the injury had actually been received in the confines of his own hotel during his return to his room.

The case of Mather and Mitchell and Dept of Defence (1994) extended this principle to the ADF situation. Two soldiers were injured while on 'authorised local leave' during the Kangaroo '92 exercise. An essential feature of this case was, that although the injured men were on a short authorised absence they were not entirely free but had been confined by orders to a particular geographic area during that time. (Ordinary formal 'leave' of course does not attract compensation cover.)