30 November 2006
Additions to ACC Presumptive Schedule A Positive Step - CTU
"The addition of 25 work related illnesses to the ACC presumptive schedule is a small step in improving recognition of occupational illness under our ACC scheme," CTU president Ross Wilson said today.
The National Party and the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Central) have today spoken out against a proposal to add 25 new occupational diseases to an ACC 'presumptive schedule', where cover is automatically given to a person if ACC is satisfied that they have the disease, and the exposure to the corresponding agent occurred at work.
"Our National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee have estimated that of the total financial cost of occupational disease in New Zealand about 47% of the costs fall on each of workers and society (i.e. about 94% in total) and less than 6% on employers."
"NOHSAC further estimates that the full cost of occupational disease and injury (including suffering and premature death) totals $20.9 billion annually, and that only 2% of these total costs are compensated."
"This supports the long expressed union concerns that the costs of workplace disease and injury are born largely by injured workers and their families, contrary to what employers have been saying over the past month."
"Employers have successfully externalised their costs, and I would have hoped that they would have shared the CTU view that a far greater portion of the cost currently falling on workers should be carried by the social insurance scheme, ACC, rather than the burden falling primarily on workers and their families," Ross Wilson said.