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ACC Reform Urgent

ACC Reform Urgent Following More 'Forced Back To Work' Stories

Green Party MP Sue Bradford said the latest stories of ACC recipients being forced back to work showed that a year was too long to wait before ACC's work assesments procedure is overhauled.

A newly-established support group of injured workers in the Taranaki say ACC recipients are being forced back into work by ACC, despite some people having unbearable pain from their injuries.

Ms Bradford said she had long held serious concerns about ACC's work assesment procedures and the Workbridge programme forcing people back into work who were not clearly not ready or able.

"I applaud this Taranaki group for supporting each other and for speaking out about the pressure which is being placed on injured workers to return to work by ACC," she said. "I have received many similar complaints from other upset workers.

"I have been waiting anxiously for legislation which will address the issues surrounding ACC and their back to work programmes to be introduced to parliament and I am extremely disappointed that it is not being given priority status."

Ms Bradford said these latest stories came hard on the heels of a Christchurch man dying just one week after being pushed into inappropriate work by ACC. The man's family have blamed ACC for ignoring his medical condition and pressuring him into unsuitable work.

"Labour and the Alliance campaigned at the last election on the promise of a more compassionate ACC system. Sadly for New Zealand's injured workers these urgently needed reforms are going nowhere fast and people are continuing to suffer."

Ms Bradford said if the Minister was correct in saying the necessary legislation would take a full year to be implemented then the reform of this area of ACC will have taken two years which was just not good enough.

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