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ACC: Ministerial Advisory Panel releases report

Ministerial Advisory Panel releases report on Work Related Gradual Process

"Three major recommendations have been made to Government from the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection," Ruth Dyson, Minister for ACC said today.

"I thank the members of the panel for the considerable time and effort they have put into producing this report," she said.

The first recommendation, that an update of the "presumptive schedule" -? Schedule 2 of the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation (IPRC) Act ? be undertaken, is already underway.

Schedule 2 lists specific work-related diseases and removes the requirement for a claimant to prove the causal link between their condition and their exposure during employment.

The second major recommendation is that the scope of existing cover under Section 30 be reviewed. Section 30 defines personal injury caused by work-related gradual process. The Advisory Panel notes that a number of work-related conditions do not currently receive cover and further notes that a number of non-work related conditions are unfairly excluded from cover also. The Government proposes doing additional work to establish the extent of this issue.

The panel's third major recommendation that those with impairment, regardless of cause, be entitled to a comparable level of medical, social and vocational rehabilitation as those who receive ACC cover, is the most significant.

This recommendation, along with the report, has been forwarded to the Office for Disability Issues, who are leading a Review of Long-Term Disability Supports. The panel's views will contribute to their policy development. Preliminary recommendations from the Office?s work are expected later this year.

The Department of Labour and ACC will consult with the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and Business New Zealand and others with expertise in the area and will report back to Cabinet with options for progressing work on the first two recommendations.

The Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection (Section 31) report is available at: http://www.osh.dol.govt.nz/publications/research/gradual-disease0605/index.shtml

ENDS


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