From 1 April 2017, our Workplace Safety Discount (WSD) product will be discontinued and we’ll no longer accept new members or renewals from this date. We indicated this to our customers during last year’s levy consultation.
Our future focus will be on developing a new approach to how we help New Zealand businesses create healthy and safe workplaces.
WSD discounts self-employed and small businesses (fewer than 10 employees or annual payroll of $578,000 or less) 10% off their work levy in exchange for putting health and safety systems in place.
The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (external website) and changes to the ACC Scheme’s legislation have changed the health and safety landscape. WSD doesn’t align with current legislation and is not fit-for-purpose.
WSD has been in place for 10 years. Since its introduction, the workplace safety environment has changed significantly. We reviewed WSD and found there were no significant reduction in injuries and injury claims. Our customers have told us that the products are administratively burdensome, inflexible and not tailored to their businesses.
If your business is already on WSD, you’ll continue to receive your discount until the expiry of your current term.
We can’t accept new members into WSD from 1 April 2017 and discounts must end by 30 June 2019. Therefore, we’re asking eligible customers to reapply by 31 October 2016 so that we have enough time to process the applications.
Why am I being asked to renew WSD before my current membership expires?
We understand that withdrawing WSD will have a financial impact on current members. We’re looking to minimise the impact by inviting our customers to renew now so they enjoy their discount for as long as possible.
How do I know if I’m eligible to renew?
We’ll contact all WSD members who are eligible to apply with instructions on how to do so.
Will anything be different when I renew this time?
There are a couple of differences that you should be aware of:
- Audit appointments will be limited and you’ll be likely be assigned a time slot rather than being asked about your preferred timing.
- Incomplete applications will go to the back of the queue upon resubmission and may not meet our deadline.
- In the past, members have been given 30 days to address issues raised in the audit. This was a discretionary practice rather than a requirement and has been shortened to five days.
- We’ve found opportunities to streamline the process so you may find it doesn’t take as long.
What happens if my WSD application isn’t processed and approved before 1 April?
We plan to process all the WSD applications we receive. However, the sooner applications are received the more likely it is we’ll complete them before the cut-off date. We’re contacting all businesses that are eligible to renew with details on how to apply and by when.
Incomplete applications or applications received after 31 October are less likely to be accepted.
Together with WorkSafe NZ, our goal is to help keep New Zealanders safe and healthy at work. We intend to drive improvements in workplace health and safety by designing solutions that encourage New Zealand businesses to invest in the value of their staff and avoid the unnecessary costs associated with workplace injury.
What will replace WSD?
We want to collaborate with businesses to co-design a range of tailored and flexible options like targeted incentives and injury prevention initiatives that deliver long-term benefits for our customers and contribute to the financial stability of the Scheme.
We also want to improve our Experience Rating (ER) system to drive better health and safety results, and lift poor claims performance. You can read more about this in our proposal documents (external website).
How can I provide input on the new approach?
The 2017-2019 levy consultation will be running from 21 September 2016 to 19 October 2016. It’s an opportunity for you to have your say on what you’d like us to consider in our new approach. Head to the Shape your ACC website and join in the conversation.
We also plan on consulting with our customers in the coming months as we design and test more effective interventions. We want to listen to what customers have to say about what works and what doesn’t from their point of view, with the ambition of coming up with solutions that’ll drive meaningful reductions in workplace injuries.
We’ll approach businesses in 2017 about participating in pilot programmes. WSD participants will be offered an opportunity to participate. Following the pilot, we’ll roll out the product nationally.
Reviewed: 16 September 2016