REMOTE DRINKING: NO GO

The Fair Work Commission has upheld the pay sanction imposed on a teacher who drank from a cask of wine in a video meeting.

The incident occurred in Augusts 2021 during a COVID pandemic lockdown when the ACT department of Education teacher were given 5 days to prepare materials for their students ‘remote learning’ classes.

During a one-on-one video meeting with his supervisor the teacher, who was working from home, picked up a cask of wine, lifted it above his head, and drank from it.

Despite the teacher's argument that it wasn't a workplace and the meeting had ended, a subsequent investigation found he breached workplace conduct by drinking alcohol during work hours. His pay was reduced for 12 months.

The teacher appealed, stating he wasn't at a workplace and wasn't influenced by alcohol. However, the department's appeals panel and the Fair Work Commission disagreed, emphasising that even in a home office, workplace safety laws apply, and drinking during work hours violated departmental policies, regardless of supervision duties.

The Commission upheld the pay reduction, affirming that the teacher was at work, subject to work-from-home guidelines during a lockdown, and policy prohibited alcohol consumption during work hours, even if not directly responsible for student supervision.

Share Tweet

RELATED

BANGLADESH: COMMUTING INJURIES NOW COMPENSABLE
In a groundbreaking effort, an employment injury scheme piloted in the readymade garment sector in Bangladesh will now include commuting accidents as part of industrial accidents eligible for compensation payout.
Read More
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT PREFERENCES IN CONSTRUCTION
The study has examined the help-seeking intentions and mental well-being of construction workers in the UK. A key challenge faced by designers of workplace interventions is low engagement with support services.
Read More
DIGITAL ROLE-PLAYING ASSISTS APPRENTICES WITH OHS
At the National Health and Safety Conference last month, Professor Helen Lingard, a leading workplace health and safety researcher from RMIT University, discussed how role-playing games (RPGs) can help apprentices develop better...
Read More