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ACC competition won’t benefit employees

ACC competition won’t benefit employees – ACC lawyer

The author of a new book on the history of ACC says that any plan to remove the not-for-profit government monopoly provision of the ACC work account will hurt employees.

“Competition will not benefit employees – the injured fire fighter, nurse or the builder,” employment and ACC lawyer Hazel Armstrong said.

“One of the benefits of ACC is that it does not have the same onus to make a profit and does not have a loyalty to a particular employer. ACC is therefore able to focus more on the needs of the injured employee when compared to private insurance company acting in the interests of the employer.”

“Under National’s plan to grant access to private insurance companies to manage work injury claims, the insurers concern will lie with what will be of benefit to their client, the employer, not the injured employee. Private insurance companies exist to make profit and they will keep costs down for their clients.”

“Injured workers will find it more difficult to get claims accepted, and once they are accepted, to get specific entitlements such as weekly compensation, or retraining. It will be exceptionally difficult for the person who is very seriously injured and who is unable to go back to their original job to get proper retraining from private insurers to start a new occupation.”

“National says that experience rating will improve safety in the workplace. This is not a new idea, it didn’t work last time when ACC had experience rated its levies. It led to a culture of deception, and employees were reluctant to make claims on their employer because the employers levy went up.”

“The evidence on removing the current state monopoly provision of accident compensation and rehabilitation simply doesn’t add up,” Hazel Armstrong said.


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