The issue of compensation of engineer Xavier X sounds like a macabre joke, but it isn’t. The man, married with offspring, died of heart attack in a Meung sur Loire hotel in the Loiret Department, while grasping the opportunity to have an occasional sex during a business trip. And the company had to comply with all the assistance obligations and economic support stipulated by law.
The trip is set up by the employer, therefore in almost all the developed nations is applicable the rule according to which the employee has to be protected during whole “mission”, from the moment in which he leaves his apartment until the moment in which he comes back to it. The company of the poor victim of a heart attack has tried to avoid the costs derived from the misfortune, but clearly it was badly assisted by its lawyers; I, not being an advocate, but an ordinary owner of an Italian Private Detective Agency, would not recommend the legal case.
It would have been different if the employee had committed some crime or some reckless act; in the past my Italian Investigation Agency took care of a similar case and the investigation revealed that the employee had died of a drug overdose, after buying the drugs in a country where even a private use was illegal.
In another, similar but different, case I took care of a serious collision that was suffered by an employee, right after his shift at work. The victim tried to maintain that it had been just an accident, which happened on the route from work to home, but the detectives of my Private Investigator Italy have proved that the employee was not coming back home: he was rather occupied by one of many “whore-tours”, which were his usual end-of-shift habit.
Coming back to the business trips, there is a hypocritical aspect in the defense of the poor Engineer struck by the heart attack: everybody knows that the business trips are often opportunities for infringements. The companies themselves take advantage of this fact, regardless of whether those “opportunities” are the sexual ones or they are limited just to SPA or a rich buffet of the hotel, increase the productivity.
Back in the old times, when the Internet was providing the very first audio/video connections, many companies spotted an opportunity of these videoconferences as a valid and money saving replacement of the business trips; but an HR director in one of the big corporations, a client of my the Italian Private Detective Agency, predicted that this would have not worked, because staying permanently closed in an office results in the same loss of dignity and the same depression as in case of staying at home without any external distractions.
The brief business trips often have the value of a bonus for the employee, a little bit like when the condottieri were awarding their troops with the big parties after the victories. And during the long business trips, the wisest executives, daily allowances and benefits aside, become much more generous and tolerant, because the prolonged periods spent far away from home bring nostalgia, which is the enemy of productivity.
When somebody approaches my Italian Investigation Agency in order to ask for surveillance of their partner on a business trip, I ask if they are really prepared to get divorced, because during thirty-eight years of my career as the Private Investigator Italy, it has never happened to me not to confirm a faithless suspicion during a business trip.