An Australian surfer who took part in a competition when he was on sick leave from work has had an appeal against his sacking upheld.
The baggage handling company he worked for found out about his exploits and promptly fired him.
The Industrial Relations Commission initially upheld his sacking, but on appeal ruled that terminating his employment was too harsh and ordered the company to pay compensation.
Mr Bevan injured his back while working for Oceania Aviation Services. He saw an osteopath who issued him with a medical certificate that recommended he remain off work until September 16.
While he was on leave, his grandfather died and Mr Bevan decided to compete in the surfing tournament, which he had won the previous year, in his memory.
His back had improved and the osteopath was happy with his progress. The day he entered the water Mr Bevan was on a scheduled day off from work which fell within the period of sick leave.
However, when he returned to work and told bosses he had been for "a bit of a paddle", he was fired.
The commission found Mr Bevan had gone surfing "in his own private time" and noted that the osteopath said he had not put his injury at risk by surfing.