McDonald’s employee who broke her leg after climbing on to the roof for a smoko wins compensation payout under a bizarre law EVERY worker should know
- McDonald’s employee Mandep Sarkaria has won the right to compensation
- She has not worked since falling from a ladder after climbing on to the roof to smoke
- The court ruled she was injured during the time she was required to be at work
- She had two previous claims rejected before the Industrial Court of Queensland ruled in her favour
- The compensation amount is yet to be determined
A McDonald’s employee who broke her leg while climbing on to the store roof for a pre-shift smoko will receive worker’s compensation.
The Industrial Court of Queensland ruled Mandep Sarkaria was entitled to a payout because her employer’s policy required her to arrive for work 10 minutes before her shift started at McDonald’s Richlands on Brisbane’s outskirts.
It is a stunning decision after two previous attempts for compensation failed and will have ramifications for workers in all industries who are required to be at work early.
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission dismissed her initial appeal after WorkCover rejected her first compensation claim.
An empoyee at McDonald’s Richlands (pictured) has won the right to compensation after she broke her leg while climbing down a ladder from the rooftop
Her claim was dismissed because Ms Sarkaria had not established she had been ‘temporarily absent from her place of employment’ or that she was on an ordinary recess at the time of her injury, according to court documents.
Ms Sarkaria hasn’t worked since November 2016 when she climbed a three metre ladder to access the roof to smoke a cigarette before she fell and broke her right leg when climbing down, according to court documents.
Ms Sarkaria’s latest claim for compensation was accepted by the Industrial Court of Queensland despite the rooftop not being a designated smoking area for staff and a sign on the ladder at the time warning against staff going on to the rooftop.
Justice Glenn Martin ruled that Ms Sarkaria was injured during the time she was required to be at work.
The McDonald’s employee broke her right foot and hasn’t worked since the fall in November 2016 (stock image)
‘Although none of the employees at the restaurant would serve a customer, or cook food, or lift a mop from the time they arrived until their shift commenced they had, in my view, commenced work,’ Justice Martin ruled.
‘Their presence at the place of employment at a fixed time before their shift commenced meant that the people they were replacing could leave in a timely way at the end of their shift and there would be no disruption to the efficient conduct of the enterprise.’
He added that in Ms Sarkaria’s case, the period of time during which an employee was required to attend work before a shift commenced should properly be regarded as an ‘ordinary recess’.
The McDonald’s employee won her right to compensation because her employer’s policy required her to be at work 10 minutes before her shift started (stock image)
The compensation amount is yet to be determined.
Candice Heisler from Quinn & Scattini told The Courier-Mail the ruling demonstrated to workers that they were entitled to make a claim for for an injury sustained before or after work if required to be there at a specific time.