ACC set to be less a political football. Changes long overdue
The introduction of a private insurance market for the employers work account is overdue and welcome, says Paul Jarvie, Occupational Health and Safety Manager for the Employers & Manufacturers Association.
“It is pleasing to see these ACC changes announced,” Mr Jarvie said.
“EMA has strongly supported introducing a competitive market to help speed up and reduce costs for people returning to work after an accident.
“Private insurers will be focused on their clients and thus the rehabilitation of employees.
“Employers gain by paying lower overheads on their workplace accident insurance.
“Employees are used to returning to work under a rehabilitation programme which has been the case since a decade ago when the first attempt was made to establish a competitive market for ACC. Its not new.
“We expect to some levy rate movement as insurers assess their books. What we do not want to see is under-pricing this year followed by large increases in subsequent years.
“As well, reducing the entry criteria for the accredited Partnership Programme means more employers can insure themselves against work place accident risk, and do more to manage it.
“Employees will be better off as they will benefit from having a focused, employer driven rehabilitation programme to count on, supported by a committed insurer.
“The research indicates that early rehabilitation reduces total injury recovery time.
“The experience of employers in the present Partnership Programme has indicated savings of 15 per cent in rehabilitation outcomes and costs.
“This extension of the Partnership Programme is logical as it is based on proven practice - a huge percentage of employees are already covered by their employers under the Partnership Programme and third party administrators where they self-insure and provide rehabilitation systems.
“Both sets of changes, along with the new Experience Rating regime, will certainly assist in employers’ focus on reducing workplace accidents and on early and durable return to work programmes.
“Employers should start to position themselves now as a good insurance risk to prospective insurers.
“EMA recommends employers start becoming involved in non-work injury rehabilitation too as the systems to apply will be the same as for the workplace. The benefits are huge.”