A store in Australia has been told it has to pay an employee A$17,000 (£9,800) after she was seriously attacked by a bird outside the shop.

Anita Smith was forced to take almost half a year off work from the retail store Woolworths after she suffered a serious injury to her right eye when a magpie-lark, colloquially known as a peewee, swooped and attacked her.

The incident took place outside the store within the grounds of the Kiama Village Shopping Centre, just south of Sydney, on 14 May 2017.

Smith underwent surgery to her eye in July and was unable to work for several months during her recovery.

The customer services worker claimed that up to ten other people had been attacked by the same bird and the company should have done something to resolve the issue sooner.

Nine News reported that Woolworths denied it was at fault, claiming that Smith wasn't working at the time of the incident.

Store management instead shifted the blame onto managers at the shopping complex, a Woolworths official said: "Centre management had previously been informed regarding a number of bird attacks and chose to do nothing about this until this and other serious incidents happened,"

An arbitrator dealing with the case said that it was "extremely unlikely that Ms Smith would have been attacked by the peewee at that time, had she not been in the course of her employment."

It was also noted that the store had been informed several times about the bird, before Smith's ordeal.

The store were ordered to pay A$17,000 in lost wages and were told to cover Smith's medical bills too.

The bird was shot dead on the 20 June after a permit was granted by the National Parks and Wildlife.

With more than 900 stores across Australia, Woolworths is one of the biggest supermarket retailers across the country.