List of acronyms

  • AC Act: Accident Compensation Act 2001
  • ACC:  Accident Compensation Corporation
  • AC Scheme:  Accident Compensation Scheme (administered by ACC)
  • ILO List:  International Labour Organization List of Occupational Diseases (revised 2010)
  • MBIE:  Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Schedule 2:  Schedule 2 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001
  • WRGPDI:  Work-related gradual process, disease, or infection


The purpose of this document is to obtain submissions from workers, employers, occupational health professionals, academics, and any other interested parties, of proposed occupational diseases and their relevant exposures to include in Schedule 2 of the AC Act.

Schedule 2 of the AC Act(external link) — New Zealand Legislation

Schedule 2 in the AC Act provides a route for someone to access cover for certain work-related gradual process, disease, or infection injuries, which occur under certain conditions, and these are set out in a list of occupational diseases.

Proposals to add occupational diseases and relevant exposures to Schedule 2 will first be considered by independent researchers, who will conduct a literature review to compile the relevant evidence on the proposed diseases. Following that, a group of medical experts will then assess each occupational disease, and others they may identify through the process, against technical criteria for inclusion in Schedule 2.

Public consultation supports transparency throughout the process of reviewing Schedule 2, and constitutes Stage 2 of the review. The full review process is set out below.  

Review process

We want to ensure that the list of occupational diseases appropriately reflects those that workers experience in Aotearoa New Zealand and your expertise and/or experience could inform how Schedule 2 is kept up to date.   


Aotearoa New Zealand’s AC Scheme provides cover for injuries caused by a gradual process, disease, or infection as a result of a work-related task or environment. These are commonly referred to as work-related gradual process, disease, or infection (WRGPDI) injuries. One way of accessing cover for a WRGPDI injury is through the 3-step test, which is used to determine if a personal injury is, on the balance of probabilities, more likely to be caused by a work-related factor than not.

As set out in the purpose, Schedule 2 in the AC Act provides another route for someone to access cover for certain WRGPDI injuries which occur under certain conditions, and these are set out in a list of occupational diseases. An example of an occupational disease in Schedule 2 is lung cancer or mesothelioma diagnosed as caused by exposure to asbestos.

Schedule 2 is based on the ILO List, which was created in 1934 and most recently updated in 2010. Schedule 2 has not been updated since 2008.

In September 2022, Cabinet agreed to a formal process for reviewing Schedule 2. 

Review framework for list of occupational diseases

Our objectives for the review are:

  • Clinical and epidemiological knowledge: How well Schedule 2 reflects this current knowledge
  • Clarity: The review is easy to understand
  • Transparency and consistency: Honesty and openness about what is involved in the review, including an evaluation of the framework against these objectives as soon as practicable after implementation of the review
  • How well the option maintains existing coverage: The outcome of the review does not narrow or expand the scope of ACC’s coverage.

This review aims to ensure Schedule 2 is up to date with the most recent scientific evidence of a causal link between disease and work-related exposure. Although not a measured aim of the review, we recognise that this review could also highlight gaps in our understanding of how occupational diseases impact different population groups in Aotearoa New Zealand. It could also raise awareness for measures which can be taken to reduce the incidence of occupational disease.


The review of Schedule 2 has a specific focus on determining if additions are needed to Schedule 2 to ensure fair access to WRGPDI cover. If changes are needed and agreed upon by Cabinet, they will be made by an Order in Council which has parameters set out in the AC Act.

An Order in Council is a type of secondary legislation that is made by the Executive Council. There are no requirements to publicly consult on the Order in Council, and as the change to the AC Act is not done via a Bill, there is no Select Committee process. This discussion document provides an opportunity for the public to submit views to inform policy recommendations.

Under section 336 of the AC Act, amendments to Schedule 2 can be made by:

a) adding or varying the description of a personal injury, together with the corresponding:

(i) agents, dusts, compounds, substances, radiation, or things (as the case may be) and, if appropriate, the relevant level or extent of exposure to such agents, dusts, compounds, substances, radiation, or things; or

(ii) occupations, industries, or processes; or

b) updating the schedule in order that the schedule may conform with the terminology or recommended practices of any international organisation.

This review process will, if changes are required, inform the development of an Order in Council focusing on meeting the elements of section 336(1)(a)(i) and (ii).

The review will not consider wider changes to the AC Scheme, including how WRGPDI cover is provided more broadly and how other types of injuries, which are not an occupational disease, are covered under the AC Act. This review will not consider work-related mental injury cover, as this is covered separately under section 21B of the AC Act and is therefore out of scope.

Last updated: 05 April 2023