Minister for ACC, Peeni Henare says changes to the scheme’s Accredited Employers Programme (AEP) will deliver a better experience for workers whose injury claims are handled by their employers rather than through ACC directly.
Under AEP, accredited employers take on ACC’s role to assess and manage claims for work injuries. In return they get a large reduction in their ACC levy. The 459 employers in the programme cover 21% of New Zealand’s workforce.
“In many cases workers get better support to recover fully from injury and return to work. But not all employers in the programme are doing a consistently good job and we need to fix that,” Minister Henare said.
He said these changes put stronger measures in place to keep employers accountable and puts more focus on workers experience and outcomes.
“The stronger requirements and measures we are putting in place mean injured workers will be better supported by their employers and find the process easier. Accredited employers will be given better insights into their performance, more support and guidance to help them improve their worker’s experience and be recognised for top performance.”
ACC will also be able to more quickly identify employers who are not doing well and act faster to help them improve or remove them if they continue to perform poorly, said the Minister.
“I want workers to have confidence their employers are being held to account and that their experience during the claims process is being more actively monitored.”
The proposed changes were released for public consultation in October 2022 and were generally well supported, said Mr Henare.
He said it was important to get the right balance between the well-being of workers and the costs for organisations to comply with the programme.
The changes were co-designed with worker representatives, accredited employers and health and safety experts.
They will take effect from 1 April 2025 with a transition year from 1 April 2024 so accredited employers and ACC have time to prepare and adapt their processes and systems.