ACC is asking New Zealand businesses to share their thoughts and ideas about incentives that encourage safer workplaces, as well as changes to ACC levies, as part of a consultation process running from 21 September to 19 October 2016.
ACC is proposing a reduction of 10 percent in work levies. It has also announced a new approach to its incentive products, necessitated through changes to the ACC Scheme’s legislation as part of the new Health & Safety reforms.
Key aspects of the new approach include new injury prevention initiatives, changes to incentives, and enhancements to the Experience Rating programme where business levies are adjusted based on their claim performance.
ACC will also remove two business incentive products in the next two years – Workplace Safety Discount (WSD) and Workplace Safety Management Practices (WSMP).
ACC’s Head of Business Customer Service Delivery, Phil Riley, says, “We’re keen to hear ideas and feedback, and work alongside businesses and WorkSafe NZ, to design solutions that encourage businesses to invest in health and safety improvements.
“In previous consultations, our customers told us that the WSD and WSMP programmes are administratively burdensome, inflexible and not tailored to their businesses. After 31 March 2017, these programmes will not accept new members, as they’ll progressively be replaced by initiatives better suited to our customers and the new Health & Safety reforms,” says Mr Riley.
ACC’s Experience Rating (ER) programme, established in 2011, is a compulsory programme enabling ACC to adjust levies, through loadings and discounts, based on a business’s claim performance in relation to businesses that have similar risk levels.
ACC has identified enhancements to make the programme even more effective, for which ACC is seeking feedback and other ideas from businesses through its consultation process, says Mr Riley.
“We are proposing changes that we believe will ensure the future ER system rewards businesses appropriately for improving their health and safety performance. It will align initiatives designed to stop workplace injuries more closely with new incentives to encourage New Zealand businesses to invest in health and safety improvements.
“The proposed changes will give a much more accurate picture of improvements in workplace health and safety in a particular business. We think in the future businesses should be better rewarded through their ACC levies when they reduce workplace injuries and support the rehabilitation of their injured workers,” says Mr Riley.
“We have a responsibility to all our levy payers to ensure we invest in programmes that drive positive results and lift poor claims performance, and our latest proposal is just one part of our approach to doing so.”
Reducing Harm in NZ Workplaces Action Plan
Mr Riley says work has already begun through the ‘Reducing Harm in NZ Workplaces Action Plan’ focusing on industry sectors that have the highest numbers of workplace injuries and the common causes of those injuries.
ACC will be working with businesses and WorkSafe NZ to design and introduce new solutions by 2019, that encourage businesses to invest in the value of their staff and avoid unnecessary costs associated with workplace injury.
Since WSD was introduced 16 years ago, and WSMP 10 years ago, the workplace safety environment has undergone dramatic changes. ACC has been reviewing both these programmes over several years and found that they are not producing the desired results to reduce injuries and injury claims.
“ACC is taking a collaborative approach by working with businesses to create tailored and cost effective improvements to ER to ensure they have an impact in the workplace and benefit businesses in the long-term,” says Mr Riley.
Consultation is open from 21 September to 19 October 2016 at www.shapeyouracc.co.nz.