COVID-19 information for accredited employers

If you’re part of the Accredited Employers Programme (AEP), you’ll find updates relating to COVID-19 here.

On this page

    We're still here to support you

    In the event there are future restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, we’ll contact you to update you on how audits can continue.

    Cover for COVID-19

    Cover for COVID-19 may be available if a person who has the virus meets the criteria for a work-related gradual process, disease or infection. This is under section 30 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001.

    We can help you with your cover decisions. Email the Risk Sharing team with the relevant claim documents, we’ll review this for you and make a recommendation.

    If you have any questions about COVID-19 and ACC cover, get in touch with our Risk Sharing team.

    Email aepqueries@acc.co.nz 

    Annual audits

    Annual audits provide an important 'snapshot' of safety and injury management performance in the workplace. It’s important the audit process continues as it helps employers continue continue to create safe work environments. It also ensures those in the programme continue to be leaders in health and safety.

    We recognise the difficulties faced by many accredited employers due to COVID-19. We'll work with you to minimise the logistical difficulties of undertaking an audit in the event of restrictions.

    Site selections

    We’re returning to the pre-COVID-19 practice of selecting two audit sites (primary and secondary), where appropriate, for those employers with multiple sites.

    Exception reporting

    Audit reports moved last year to using the simpler 'exception reporting' style. The auditor will provide a full Executive Summary as is usual practice.

    Elements that will require full detail to be reported are:

    • 9 Workplace Observation
    • 18 Claim File Reviews
    • 19 Case Study Interviews
    • 20 Focus Groups.

    However, under each of the remaining Elements (1 to 8, 10 to 17), only those areas which may not have fully met all areas of the audit requirements will be documented.

    This will free up auditor time and availability to ensure there are more opportunities for you to book an auditor.

    How do I provide ACC with my audit documentation?

    As soon as you can, email us a copy of your annual audit documentation. Please provide details of your confirmed audit dates and which auditor will be undertaking the audit.

    Email aepqueries@acc.co.nz

    It’s that time of year when Accredited Employer Accreditation Agreements will be extendedWe’ll send you the relevant documentation via email on 22 February.  

    AEP certificates

    Earlier in the year we completed the AEP contract renewal process. All accredited employers were sent a certificate confirming their status in the programme for the 2020/21 cover year.

    We now proactively issue certificates at the start of the cover year, whether or not an annual audit has taken place. This is because many employers have asked for a current certificate, so they don’t have to wait for a completed audit for the cover year. If there was a change in accreditation level (primary, secondary or tertiary) following the annual audit, then we’d issue an updated certificate.

    Cover decisions

    It’s important to keep up your normal process for issuing cover decisions, as there may be current claims with active timeframes. If these need to be extended, make sure you do so as cover decisions must be made within the required timeframes.

    Remember if there isn’t a workplace injury report available, which includes an accident report, incident report or injury report, it’s not a standalone reason to decline cover. Cover decisions should be based on all the evidence that’s available.

    You must make entitlement decisions for injured employees in a timely manner. If a decision hasn’t been made within 21 days from when the entitlement application was made, employees can request a review on the basis of an unreasonable delay.

    Weekly compensation

    If your employee cannot return to work due to the impact of their injury, you must make sure the calculation and payment of their weekly compensation happen quickly. Injured employees who are already receiving weekly compensation will continue to do so.

    If your employee is receiving weekly compensation, as well as the COVID-19 wage subsidy extension, the subsidy must be treated as earnings. You must apply an abatement to adjust the level of weekly compensation your employee receives.

    Medical certificates, treatment and rehabilitation

    If your employee’s medical certificate has expired and they still can’t work, ask them to get in touch with their medical practitioner. If there’s still a delay in getting a medical certificate or medical advice, you must continue to provide support for your employee.

    For up-to-date information on treatment and rehabilitation options for injured employees, visit:

    General COVID-19 provider information

    Suspending entitlements

    If you’re considering suspending or stopping entitlements for an employee,  make sure you follow the legislative requirements before doing so. Under section 103 of the AC Act (Accident Compensation Act 2001), an employee is eligible for weekly compensation if they cannot return to work due to the impact of their injury.

    Before entitlements are suspended, the circumstances must be properly investigated. This includes the impact of COVID-19 for decisions on non-compliance. Refer to section 117.

    For example, if your employee cannot undergo rehabilitation due to  COVID-19, it's not a reason to suspend their entitlements for non-compliance.

    Paying treatment providers

    Please continue to pay any treatment provider invoices in a timely manner and before the due date. For more information, refer to the Accreditation Agreement, 4 Obligations of Accredited Employer.

    Signed consent forms

    What if I can't get a signed consent form from my injured employee?

    It's important you get informed consent from your injured employee. This means you must confirm with your employee what information is being sought, why, and from whom. This needs to be clearly documented in the claim file.

    To meet the required audit standard for ‘signed’ consent, your employee’s consent can be documented as a confirmation email or as an e-text in the claim file.

    Contact us 

    If you have any questions, please get in touch.

    Email aepqueries@acc.co.nz

    More COVID-19 information

    We’ll continue to update this page with more information as it becomes available.

    We encourage all businesses to stay up to date with the latest government information on Business.govt.

    COVID-19: Information for businesses

    Support for businesses is available via the economic package announced by the Government. The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) website has more detailed information about the COVID-19 support available, including information on business support and workplace guidance for employers and employees.

    Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment website

    More information is also available on the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website.

    COVID-19 website

    Last published: 25 March 2021