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.

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    We're still here to support you

    We acknowledge the difficult time many businesses are experiencing, and we remain committed to supporting you where we can. 

     

    Annual audits

    We understand the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, which may change at short notice, makes it difficult to plan for your upcoming audit.

    To help you manage this uncertainty, we encourage you to have a contingency plan in place in case an on-site audit isn’t an option. This may involve holding some, or all, of the audit virtually.

    To help you prepare for your audit and create a contingency plan, we’ve outlined some factors for you to consider:

    • What are the requirements of your auditor and/or TPA. Is your AE representative, TPA or Auditor able to travel?
    • What are the current Government COVID-19 restrictions (e.g. masks, social distancing) and your own restrictions for minimising onsite health and safety risks?
      • Virtual audits: Due to time required, virtual audits may be better split into several part days.
      • Having documentation such as H&S and Injury Management manuals ready beforehand.
      • Prepare your evidence, such as completed performance reviews, H&S Committee meeting minutes, training records, evacuation drills, PCBU induction/agreed roles and responsibilities/monitoring/reviews.
      • Decide how you will provide claim files for audit.
      • Decide who needs to be there; i.e. AE representative and TPA (non-self-managing AEs) must be at the file review session to answer any questions by the auditor.
      • Test technology and internet is working well before the audit, such as reliable internet access for focus group participants who are working from home.
    • Discussion with ACC may be required regarding site selections.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your audit, please contact your Compliance Adviser, and they’ll be able to help you.

    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 

     

    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.

    COVID-19 vaccination injuries

    Work-related personal injury claims

    You may receive claims for adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, on the basis that these are ‘work-related’ personal injuries. For example, your staff member chooses to get the vaccine, or is required to be vaccinated to do their job, and suffers a reaction to the vaccine.

    These are not considered to be ‘work-related’ personal injuries. This means as an accredited employer you’re not required to investigate these claims or be responsible for the associated costs. However, we can look into whether we cover these claims as a non-work treatment injury.

    ACC treatment injury cover

    We can provide treatment and support for injuries caused by COVID-19 vaccination if it meets the criteria for a non-work treatment injury. This means there's a physical injury caused by the vaccination, which is not a necessary part or ordinary consequence of the treatment. For more information:

    ACC treatment injury cover for COVID-19 vaccination injuries

    If you’ve already received a claim requesting cover for a COVID-19 vaccination injury, please send this to our Insurer Liaison Team.

    For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the workplace, please refer to Employment New Zealand’s website:

    Vaccinations and the workplace

    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

    Eligibility for financial support 

    If you’re reviewing your employee’s eligibility for financial support, make sure you follow the legislative requirements before doing so.

    Before weekly compensation payments are suspended, the circumstances must be properly assessed. This includes the impact of COVID-19 for decisions on non-compliance. For example, if your employee cannot undergo rehabilitation due to COVID-19, it's not a reason to suspend their payments for non-compliance.

    In general, an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination status, and the potential impact of this on rehabilitation, is not the basis for reviewing eligibility for financial support. Each situation needs to be considered on a case by case basis. If you need help with a specific claim, please contact the Risk Sharing team.

    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.nz

    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.

    Unite against COVID-19 website

    Last published: 31 March 2022