Workers at heart of changes to ACC’s Accredited Employers Programme
Published: 07 July 2023
Changes to ACC’s Accredited Employers Programme (AEP) aim to improve the experience for workers whose injury claims are handled by their employers.
Under AEP, accredited employers take on ACC’s role in assessing and managing claims for work injuries in return for a large reduction in their ACC levy. The 459 employers in the programme cover 21 per cent of New Zealand’s workforce.
When AEP works well, employees are efficiently and appropriately supported by their employers to recover fully from their injuries and return to work. But standards are not consistently high across the programme.
Stronger measures are being put in place to tighten programme standards and ensure injured workers are better supported. Introducing a robust, clear and consistent system to regularly monitor performance means everyone will know where they stand.
ACC will be better able to support poor performers to improve and to act faster if they do not. Workers can have confidence that accredited employers are being held to account and that their experience during the claims process is feeding into how employers are assessed.
The package of proposed changes was released for public consultation in October 2022 and was generally well supported.
The changes were co-designed with worker representatives, accredited employers and health and safety experts and focus on 4 areas:
- Claims and injury management process: An improved assessment of the claims and injury management process that better captures workers’ experience.
- Performance monitoring: A new performance monitoring system that will recognise top performers and pick up on poor performance faster with more sanctions, including expulsion, for sub-standard practice.
- New health and safety standards: An updated ACC health and safety audit process and a new option of ISO 45001 certification will drive higher quality health and safety systems.
- Updated pricing model: New levy discount options to encourage employers to take on claims over a longer period, giving workers with complex injuries greater assurance and more continuity of support.
The changes take effect from 1 April 2025 with a transition year from 1 April 2024 to allow accredited employers and ACC time to adapt their processes and systems.
You can read more about the changes below.
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