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Urgent meetings on accident insurance called

MEDIA RELEASE

22 February 2000

Urgent meetings on accident insurance called

The Employers and Manufacturers Association in Auckland has called an urgent meeting for Friday this week to brief members on the gathering crisis around accident insurance. Similar meetings are being held in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The meetings are in response to fears that Government is ignoring what employers all over the country are telling it, that they want the competitive regime for accident workplace insurance retained.

“The present legislation before Parliament contains little or no detail on what Government is proposing for a range of our key concerns,” said the chief executive of EMA Northern, Alasdair Thompson.

“The features of the proposed revival of the accredited employers scheme are not even included in the present legislation. We do not know if the re-introduction of the old ACC will also re-introduce the old and severely limited employer accredited scheme, or try to make something of value from it, especially for sme’s.

“The competitive market achieved significantly fewer accidents and a more rapid return to work because each employer reacted to the risks in their business with accident reduction strategies. For the first time employers had real incentives to improve their accident records.

“The lack of incentives to improve is going to add upward pressure on costs.

“We are alarmed by the Government’s breakneck timetable for returning to the old warts and all ACC. We are sceptical Government can implement its programme sensibly in five weeks. We have not yet seen the arrangements for renewals, nor the rating system intended, nor how that system will work.

“Government is scrambling around trying to get some sense on these issues when it would be show far more leadership if it slowed the process down, then moved forward on the basis of more experience and knowledge from the running the present system on for a time.

“The meeting in Auckland on Friday has already met with a very strong response – we are expecting a large crowd despite the very short notice.”

Further comment: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0911 (bus)
09 303 3951 (hme)
025 982 024 (mob)


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