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Government Called On To Change ACC Criteria

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-FUSION

The Government has been called on to change the criteria under which companies can opt out of ACC.

The call comes from Fusion which was the country's largest provider of workplace accident insurance under the old privatised ACC system and which today has repositioned itself to work with companies which opt out of ACC.

Fusion general manager Christina Rogstad says the nationalisation of ACC has taken away the incentive for employers to improve workplace health and safety by making employers pay a premium set for their industry rather than a premium set on their individual health and safety record.

She says changing the criteria incentives will be restored.

The new ACC regime came into force on Sunday (1 July) making it compulsory for companies to insure their workplace accidents with ACC however companies with large workforces can opt to cover much of their own workplace risk under what is called the Partnership Programme.

Fusion wants the Government to extend the criteria under which employers can opt out of ACC to a much wider cross-section of companies.

General manager Christina Rogstad says under the present criteria companies which opt out still have to pay a minimum of 10-percent of their ACC premium.

They also at maximum discount levels must take out Stop/Loss insurance with ACC covering all accident costs over 150-200 percent of their ACC premiums.

Christina Rogstad says this makes the Partnership Programme only attractive to medium and large sized employers.



"However if the Government lowered the amount employers have to cover with compulsory ACC Stop/Loss insurance then a much wider cross-section of companies would find covering their own workplace accident risk a viable option."

"By cutting back the level of Stop/Loss insurance ACC would retain its role as the sole provider of accident insurance but return the incentive to a whole lot of companies to cut their workplace accident costs.

"I believe this would go a considerable way to improving business confidence in this country and showing that the Government is true to its word when it says it is not anti-business."

She says the argument for the nationalised of ACC was that private insurance companies were seen to potentially be making profits on the back of workers injuries. It was argued premiums would not rise with nationalisation.

However, she says, many employers are now facing premiums considerably higher than those they received under the privatised system.

ends

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