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ACC cuts Approved Employer Scheme

The ACC has ‘killed off’ its existing Approved Employer Scheme in an ‘arbitrary, non-consultative and baffling’ decision, which the PSA says has significant ramifications for state sector workers.

‘Since 1973 state employees while on accident leave have been paid their full salary, directly by an employer who then recovered 80 per cent of the money from ACC.

‘People suffering out-of-work injuries, and those on compensation payments before June 30, will now have to go through ACC to get their compensation instead of receiving it directly from their employer,’ PSA national manager Joe Tonner said.

“This approach will simply mean delays, stress and hardships for people at a time they are at their most vulnerable,” he said.

The PSA is challenging the legality of the change and has canvassed other unions on their support for legal action, he said.

‘We are also seeking a copy of any ACC review which may have been carried out so we can assess the basis for this seemingly arbitrary decision-making,’ he said.

Under the change, ACC will take over the administration of weekly compensation payments for all affected claimants with the weekly earnings compensation payments – traditionally paid by an injured workers’ employer – transferred back to ACC.

In a letter recently sent out to approved employers, ACC’s funding and pricing general manager, Peter Wood said the scheme needed to be reviewed because of ‘the new structure of ACC’ and the ‘new legislation that came into effect on 1 July’.

All existing contracts under the scheme were ‘terminated’ on September 10 and approved employers directed to not make ‘any payments for weekly compensation after 10 October’.

‘The PSA will argue this has little or nothing to do with the new legislation as that applies to insurance matters for at-work injuries only,’ Mr Tonner said.

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