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High Court decision handed down in Comcare v. PVYW

Media release

 - 30 Oct 2013

Comcare has been successful in its appeal to the High Court of Australia in Comcare v. PVYW.

Today the High Court, by majority, has allowed Comcare’s appeal. The case related to whether a worker injured during a private activity in a hotel room while on a work trip was considered ‘in the course of employment’ for workers’ compensation purposes.

Today’s High Court decision means Comcare is not liable to pay compensation to the respondent.

The incident, which occurred in 2007, has been through numerous court hearings and appeals. Comcare appealed the 2012 ruling of the Full Court of the Federal Court to clarify the boundaries between private and business activities when employees travel for work purposes.

The High Court held that there needed to be a connection between an injury sustained during a work interval, on a work trip, and an activity induced or encouraged by the employer.

The High Court further determined that this connection does not exist just because of an inducement or encouragement by the employer to be at that place. The decision in this case was based on whether the employer induced or encouraged the activity of the worker. The High Court held that the employer did not induce or encourage the activity which led to the injury.

More information on this case can be found through the High Court website at

Comcare will review the Court’s decision and release relevant jurisdictional policy advice if required.



30 October 2013

Media contact:
Comcare Media Team
0478 305 675

Page last updated: 04 Nov 2013