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Labour Acc Policy Bad For Workers

Media Release

Thursday 1 July 1999

Labour Acc Policy Bad For Workers

In a scathing attack, Employers’ Federation CEO, Steve Marshall, said today that Labour’s ACC policy was crazy ideology with no recognition of the benefits a competitive accident insurance market can provide to employers, employees, and their families.

“The best thing about the Government’s new regime which comes in today, is that there are now clear incentives on those involved to improve workplace safety and prevent accidents happening. This will mean fewer injuries and deaths than would otherwise be the case, which has to be good. The new regime also means far more emphasis on rehabilitation when someone does get injured. This will help them back into both the productive workforce and full participation in society

“This is good for everyone, employers, employees, and their families.

But Labour’s ACC policy is bad.

“Reintroducing lump sum payments is a backward step and will do nothing to help the long-term rehabilitation of those injured in the workplace. It would simply be a lottery. Surely the best approach is to ensure those who need support, get it.

“And effectively neutering the work capacity test does nothing to help injured people get back on their feet and into productive employment. Incentives to remain dependant on compensation when actually fit to resume work are in no-ones’ interest.

“Experience rating is a fundamental pillar of an effective accident insurance and rehabilitation regime to ensure employers control risk in their workplaces and carry some financial liability for failure to do so. Removing this simply does not make sense for anyone.

“I would have thought that any political party that genuinely cared for workers and their families would support common sense. Instead we have the Labour party practising this crazy, extreme ideology of removing competition. This will inevitability increase the cost of employment, costing jobs, and wont help improve worker safety.

“Yes, some businesses will now be paying more, some will be paying less. But businesses now have options, choice and the incentive to work harder to improve safety. More… “Even the Union movement criticised the old ACC because they know that the incentives simply didn’t exist to get injuries down, and to rehabilitate those who did get injured. Why does Labour want to go back?

“Labour policy is just ideology gone mad. If the implications weren’t so serious in relation to jobs and workplace safety, one could be inclined to think that this announcement was just a joke,” Mr Marshall concluded.

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