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Your employee falls down the stairs during lunch and breaks his leg. Will COID pay him compensation?

by , 19 December 2014
While your employees are at work, it's your responsibility to protect them. And if they have an accident, you need to help them get compensation from COID.

But what happens if your employee falls down the stairs and breaks his leg while he's on lunch break?

Will COID give him compensation in this situation? After all, he's technically off duty during lunch, isn't he?

To help you understand this situation and get your employee help, I'm going to explain how COID treats injuries that happen during lunch break...

 
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Here's how COID treats injuries during lunch break

 
Whether your employee will get compensation for this injury on lunch break depends entirely on why he was doing what he was doing. 
 
If he was acting in terms of his employment, he can still get compensation. If he was acting independently, then he won't get compensation. 
 
So let's say your employees play soccer during lunch for their own entertainment. If one of them has an injury, he won't get compensation for it. But, according to the COID Compliance Guide, you must still report this accident to COID. 
 
But, if you arrange a lunch break soccer game for team building and someone has an injury, he'll get compensation. This is because he's acting in terms of his employment when the injury happens. 
 
The same rule applies to your employee falling down the stairs. If he was going down stairs to leave the office to get lunch, he's acting independently and won't get compensation. 
 
But if he's going down stairs to fetch a document for you from his car, he's acting in terms of his employment and will get compensation. 
 
To determine if your employee was acting in terms of his employment or not, consider these seven questions.
 
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Seven questions you can ask to determine if your employee was acting in terms of his employment

 
1. Did you ask your employee to do what he was doing? (If 'yes' then he's acting in terms of his employment);
2. Was he with a client having lunch? (If 'yes' then he's acting in terms of his employment);
3. Was your employee taking part in an activity you arranged? (If 'yes' then he's acting in terms of his employment);
4. Was your employee running an errand for you? (If 'yes' then he's acting in terms of his employment);
5. What was your employee doing before the accident? (If he was doing work activities he may have been acting in terms of his employment);
6. Was he helping a colleague with a work task? (If 'yes' then he's acting in terms of his employment); and
7. Was he on his way to a work related meeting? (If 'yes' then he's acting in terms of his employment).
 
Remember, even if your employee wasn't acting in terms on his employment, you must still report the accident to the Compensation Commissioner. Check out the COID Compliance Guide to find out how to do this. 
 


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