Ms Dring was attending a workshop in Melbourne, organised by her employer, Telstra, in April 2016. The workshop took place over a number of days and Telstra organised hotel accommodation for Ms Dring. Ms Dring slipped over on wet tiles in the foyer of a hotel at 2:30am, after a night out socialising.
Ms Dring submitted a claim for workers’ compensation in respect of an injury to her hip. Telstra denied liability for Ms Dring’s claim pursuant to section 14 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) (the SRC Act), on the basis that the injury did not arise out of, or in the course of her employment. Ms Dring sought review of the decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal affirmed the decision under review and Ms Dring appealed that decision to the Federal Court.
The Federal Court found that the central question of law raised was whether the Tribunal correctly applied the statutory expression “arising out of, or in the course of, the employee’s employment” to the facts as it found them. The Federal Court resolved that question against Ms Dring by finding, in effect, that the Tribunal’s finding that the injury did not arise out of, or in the course of, her employment was correct. Ms Dring appealed that decision to the Full Federal Court.
Section 14 of the SRC Act provides that the employer is liable to pay compensation in respect of an injury suffered by an employee if the injury results in death, incapacity for work, or impairment.