Consultation on process to review occupational conditions covered by ACC
Wed 13 Apr 2022
The Government is seeking feedback on a proposed review framework for the list of occupational diseases covered under the Accident Compensation Act (2001). The review is also seeking feedback on gender and ethnic differences related to occupational conditions.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is leading the consultation.
The closing date to make a submission is 28 April 2022.
MBIE is seeking feedback on a proposed review framework for Schedule 2 of the Accident Compensation (AC) Act 2001. Schedule 2 lists the occupational diseases covered under the Accident Compensation Act. Currently there is no formal or regular process for reviewing and updating Schedule 2. The list has not been updated since 2008.
The MBIE consultation notes that the purpose of the proposed framework for a regular review of Schedule 2 is to:
- "Ensure the occupational diseases listed are relevant to the experiences of working New Zealanders;
- Enable it to be kept up to date with modern medical and epidemiological evidence;
- Improve claimants’ access to Work-Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection cover."
The consultation also noted that "A regular review framework could also address gaps in our understanding of how occupational diseases impact different population groups in Aotearoa New Zealand."
In announcing the consultation, Minister for ACC Carmel Sepuloni said:
“I am also focused on improving gender equity in the AC [Accident Compensation] Scheme. As part of that, a regular review framework, which would take gender into account, could improve our understanding of how occupational diseases impact different population groups in Aotearoa New Zealand.
“By addressing these gaps in our understanding, a review could be used to improve awareness and preventative action against how occupational diseases impact men as well as women.”
The consultation document outlines in more detail the issues that could be addressed through a framework for regular review, including:
- "Improve understanding of how Schedule 2 applies to both males and females in Aotearoa New Zealand"
- "Improve understanding on how Schedule 2 impacts different population groups."
In both areas, the consultation document notes the lack of research in Aotearoa New Zealand examining differences in occupational diseases (see pages 14 and 15 of the consultation document for more information). For an occupational disease to be included in Schedule 2, there must be strong scientific evidence of a causal link to a work-related risk.
MBIE has provided a submission form. You can also write a submission. Submissions can be sent by email to ACregs@mbie.govt.nz or posted to:
The Manager, Accident Compensation Policy
Workplace Relations and Safety Policy
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
PO Box 1473
The consultation is not reviewing which diseases should be included in Schedule 2. The consultation also does not include Schedule 3 of the Accident Compensation Act, which outlines Cover for mental injury caused by certain acts dealt with in Crimes Act 1961 such as sexual violence. For more information see the MBIE Consultation.
The Government is also consulting on a proposed New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme. The scheme would provide protections to workers made redundant, laid off, or who have to stop working because of a health condition or disability. This would include receiving 80 percent of usual salary for up to seven months, up to the current ACC cap. The proposal also includes up to twelve months of support for re-training. MBIE is leading the consultation. The closing date to make a submission on this consultation is 26 April 2022. For more information and to make a submission see the consultation on A New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme. Also see Minister of Finance Grant Robertson's announcement for the scheme.
ACC review finds privacy policies outdated, poorly understood by staff, RNZ, 14.06.2022 (also see the ACC media release, Independent review into our handling of information has been released, 14.06.2022)