Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Death on the job


ACCORDING to the Bible (Romans 6:23), the wages of sin is death. According to a French court, however, the wages of sin is also a nice fat payout.

Incredibly, appeal judges in Paris have ruled that a man who died from a heart attack while having sex with a stranger during a working trip was the victim of a ‘professional accident’ and his employer is responsible. 

This entitles the late philanderer’s family to claim up to 80 per cent of his salary until what would have been his retirement age, followed by a tidy share of his pension.

The Times reports that the decision ‘stretches further the concept of a workplace accident in a country that gives generous compensation to dependants of staff who die on the job (sic)’.

The employee in this case, identified only as Xavier X and whose age was not given, was working in central France on an assignment for a railway construction company. He died in his hotel room after copping off with a local woman he had just met.

Lawyers for the firm argued that he was not acting on his employer’s behalf when he skulked away for a quickie. His death was ‘not imputable to his work but to the adulterous sex act that he had with a complete stranger’.

But the judges said an employee on assignment ‘is entitled to their employer’s protection for the duration of their mission, whether or not the accident takes place as part of a professional activity or as an act of normal life’.

They upheld a ruling by a lower court which declared: ‘A sexual encounter is an act of normal life like taking a shower or eating a meal.’ Er, really? I wonder, would my wife react the same way to discovering me in flagrante with a floozy as finding me washing my hair or scoffing a steak and kidney pie?

And where does Monsieur le Juge draw the line? Should a bloke found guilty of carrying out bank robberies during working hours have his salary similarly protected?

Could a chap caught in the act of butchering someone with a machete tell the gendarme: ‘It’s OK, mon vieux, I’m on company business’?

One of the many reasons I voted Leave was my dismay at bonkers decisions inflicted on Britons by European judges, many from such bastions of justice as Lithuania and Latvia. This latest French farce can but reinforce the view that we must bid these idiots adieu. Et vite.

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Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth
Alan Ashworth is a former national newspaper journalist now retreated to the Ribble Valley, where he grows cacti and tramps the fells. He and his wife Margaret run a website, A-M Records , which includes their collected TCW columns plus extra features including Tracks of the Day. Requests, queries and comments can be sent to

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