What to do when an employee is injured

If you get a letter from us about an injury at your workplace, or your employee tells you that they've been injured, find out what you need to do as their employer and how it can affect the levies you pay.

On this page

    Supporting your injured employee

    We’ve created more ways for your injured employee to get support from us and opportunities to improve their recovery. We’ve changed from a one-size-fits-all approach to being more flexible to suit each person’s needs.

    Our online service, MyACC, allows those supported by a recovery team to access a range of services such as:

    • claims details
    • equipment such as knee scooters
    • reimbursements, eg for prescriptions
    • requesting their recovery team to contact them.

    By helping your employees to self-manage their recovery on their own terms, where and when it suits them, we can all achieve better outcomes, including helping your employees return to work faster.

    This means that some employees with non-complicated injuries can manage their own recovery online, and we won’t be contacting their employer about their injury. It's therefore very important for you to talk to your employee about their injury and work closely with them on their recovery.

    For more complicated claims, we’ll contact both you and your employee, and we’ll work together to manage their care and recovery.

    Your role as an employer is key to supporting someone back to work after an injury. Communication is important between you, your employee, your payroll department, and us.

    For more information print the infographic:

    Supporting injured employees

    Discuss the injury with your employee

    Here’s a list of things to think about when you talk to your employee about their injury:

    • make sure your employee gets treatment as soon as possible – if they haven’t already
    • ask them about the injury and confirm how it happened
    • make sure they discuss a claim for the accident through their  health provider
    • make sure they get a medical certificate from their doctor outlining the type of work and the hours they can do while recovering from their injury
    • you may need to ask your employee for a copy of their claim form and/or medical certificate
    • discuss suitable duties and keeping the role open
    • discuss how you and ACC might be able to help them. For example,  getting to and from work, setting up the workstation, or paying income while they're off work.

    It’s your employee's responsibility to keep you informed on their injury and situation.

    Supporting your employee to return to work

    Research shows the sooner an injured person gets back to work and everyday life, the better it is for their health, wellbeing, and recovery.

    Work can be a key part of most people’s rehabilitation after an injury. Remaining connected to work support, networks, and a routine contributes to a good recovery.

    We have access to expert support and resources to help your employee recover while working. This includes Stay at Work (SAW) providers, specialised health professionals, and their own GP. When we all work together in your employee’s best interests, their health and recovery are optimised.

    Most employees can do some sort of work when they’re injured. There are only a few instances when we expect a doctor to issue a medical certificate stating someone is fully unfit for work. This is when:

    • they’re admitted to hospital
    • the work environment poses a risk of serious harm to them
    • work tasks will aggravate the injury
    • they can’t travel to and from work – even with travel assistance.

    If your employee needs more time off work

    If your employee cannot return to their pre-injury role, we can work together to help them recover and get back to work as soon as possible. This includes allowing your employee to gradually return doing fewer hours or different work tasks.

    Work with us to get your employee back to work

    Paying employees if they need time off work

    If your employee needs time off work and we're covering their injury, we pay 80% of their income after the first week. You may need to cover the first week depending on where they were injured.

    • The injury happened outside work
      They can use their sick leave for the first week. If they don't have any sick leave, see if your employee wants to take it as annual leave.
    • The injury happened at work
      You need to pay them for the first calendar week (or part week) at 80% of what they would have earned.
      In agreement with your employee, one sick leave or annual leave day per week may be used to ‘top-up’ the first week of a work accident or any subsequent week paid by ACC.

    Paying employees after the first week of their injury

    If your employee can't return to work because of their injury and have an ACC medical certificate signing them off work for the injury, your employee can request weekly compensation assistance. We'll continue to pay 80% of their income as weekly compensation.

    Income for your employee if they can't work

    If the injury happens at work

    If your employee’s injury happened in your workplace, there are a few things to think about:

    • You can contact us for help and we can work with you to investigate or fix any health and safety issues.
    • You may need to contact WorkSafe. There are legal requirements under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 for employers to notify WorkSafe of accidents and serious harm.
    • Record the accident details in your accident register.

    Help with claims:

    Phone 0800 101 996 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5pm)
    Email claims@acc.co.nz

    Notify WorkSafe of an injury
    Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

    How work injuries can affect the levies you pay

    When your employee is injured at work it could affect your levies under the Experience Rating Programme.

    About the Experience Rating Programme

    How your claims history affects your levies

    Contact us

    Talk to us if:

    • the letter doesn't relate to an employee in your business
    • the information is wrong
    • after talking to your employee, you disagree with the decision.

    Phone 0800 222 096 
    Email workinjury.inquiries@acc.co.nz

    Last published: 1 October 2020