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ACC Treatment of Self-employed still inequitable

01 June 2001 PR 70/2001

ACC Treatment of Self-employed still inequitable

Federated Farmers National Board Member Roger Barton told the Select Committee examining the Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill this week that they should take this opportunity to remove the compensation inequities that remain for the self-employed.

"The Committee should finish the job started in the 1999 Accident Injury (Transitional Provisions) Act," said Mr Barton.

"Many self-employed farmers are continuing to get a raw deal from ACC in respect to compensation for injury."

"Self-employed farmers pay ACC premiums like everyone else, therefore they should be entitled to compensation if they are injured."

"Farmers can be severely injured and not capable of performing normal duties on their farm, but in many cases have not received any weekly compensation from ACC. This inequity has existed for over 25 years," said Mr Barton.

"The Government has partially fixed the problem by providing the self-employed with the option to purchase guaranteed cover under a product called CoverPlus xtra. The federation welcomed this move. However, self-employed farmers who do not purchase this extra product are forced to have an inferior service."

"All farmers are asking for is to be treated just like injured employees. When an employee is injured and declared unable to work by a doctor, they are compensated. In contrast, the self-employed, particularly farmers, are treated as second-class citizens and must go through an unfair assessment process that often results in no payment being made."

"The good news is that the Select Committee has shown they understand the plight of the self-employed and is seeking constructive dialogue with the federation to seek a solution to this problem. Federated Farmers will certainly be taking up the offer," said Mr Barton.

ENDS

For further information: Roger Barton (06) 304 9495 Gavin Forrest (03) 366 8415




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