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17.3.1 Place of work


Section 4(1) of the SRCA includes the following definition of 'place of work':

'place of work', in relation to an employee, includes any place at which the employee is required to attend for the purpose of carrying out the duties of his or her employment

This definition makes it clear that a client's place of work is not just their usual 'work base' but also includes any other place where they are required to attend for the purposes of their employment, e.g. a parade, a training facility, a Board of Inquiry.

Where a client's normal duties include driving (e.g. a courier or a bus driver) the place of work includes the vehicle. These cases are NOT to be treated as travel claims.

Where certain special cases require an even tighter definition of the place of work, the following guidance may apply:

  • Refer to 17.8 for discussions of the situation of ADF members 'living-in' on base i.e. where the base is simultaneously their place of work and place of residence.
  • In rare cases where the precise limits of the 'place of work' are critical, Delegates should note the comments of Northrop J in Comcare v O'Dea (1997):

'...the use of the word 'place' in either of the expressions 'place of work' or 'place of residence' connotes a defined area, normally the whole area of the work place or residence or, to put the matter in another way, the area over which the owner or legal occupier of the area has control'

  • A client may, under certain circumstances, be at the 'place of work' while working at their residence (i.e. 'home based work'). This circumstance would require the tasks of employment being undertaken at home at the direction of the employer. Examples could include washing a military vehicle at a private residence, 'telecommuting', or working under orders to complete a specific task such as a report. However:
  • The mere fact that a client is undertaking work-related activities at home (e.g. practicing skills or preparing personal military equipment) does not mean the residence becomes a place of work. This only applies when formal approval has been given by a superior officer for work to be undertaken at home, or there is a well established pattern of work at home which is known to, and accepted by, the client's superior officer.