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Lunchtime break – beware!

The Higher Social Court (Landessozialgericht, LSG) Baden- Württemberg (December 13, 2013 – L 8 U 1506/13) has ruled that an accident that occurred during a lunch break from work, but outside of the workplace, was not a work-related accident.  The plaintiff in this case was having lunch in a canteen at a neighboring bank as there was no canteen in her building.  On her way back to work, the plaintiff slipped and was seriously injured. The Social Accident Insurance Institution (Berufsgenossenschaft) refused to treat this as a work-related accident because the accident happened outside the plaintiff’s place of work.

 

The Higher Social Court Baden-Württemberg confirmed this view.  Though employees are generally protected by the Social Accident Insurance on their way to and from lunch, this does not apply when employees leave their place of work.  The court’s view is that it is an easily manageable and objective criteria to use the front door of the workplace to assess whether the accident is work-related or not.