Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Partial insurance against OSH penalties legal


Partial insurance against OSH penalties legal

Buying insurance to cover the risk of being fined under the new Health & Safety Amendment Act becomes illegal on May 5th when the Act comes into force. But employers will be able to insure against reparation costs awarded by the Courts, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) advises.

"Existing insurance policies covering workplace accidents become null and void on May 5th, and it will be illegal to try and purchase any policy that indemnifies employers against fines awarded under any OSH prosecution," said Paul Jarvie, EMA's Manager of Occupational Health & Safety.

"But this does not affect an employer's ability to insure against the awarding of reparation costs.

"Under the Health and Safety in Employment Act a penalty is defined as any fine awarded in combination with any reparation awarded. The penalties under the Act include both the fine and the reparation awarded by a Judge.

"The new Sentencing Act last year gave District Court Judges discretion to award reparation, which is a payment made to an employee which is not considered to be compensation but for consequential or emotional loss suffered.

"Since then a small number of cases have awarded minimal fines but with amounts of reparation up to four times larger than the fine.

"When a penalty including a fine and reparation is awarded, an employer might be liable to pay the fine with their insurer indemnifying them against the costs of reparation.

"For this to happen employers must:

a) make sure the word fine is removed from their policy, and

b) that reparation is clearly stated as part of the insurer's indemnification."

Mr Jarvie said the Courts currently award about 30 per cent of the present law's maximum penalty of $50,000 so it is reasonable to assume with maximum penalties under the Act rising to $250,000 that a breach of the new OSH law would rise proportionately.

"Employers should remember a single event can attract several prosecutions," Mr Jarvie said.

"Employers can also still insure against the costs associated with defending a prosecution.

"If the amounts of reparation awarded rise, and insurance policies are called upon, then premiums will rise. Prevention is obviously far better than cure.

"EMA's advice is that companies insist on good health and safety systems in their workplaces to prevent accidents happening in the first place."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news