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

    Discuss the injury with your employee

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

    • ensure 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 make 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
    • discuss alternate duties and keeping the role open
    • discuss how you and ACC might be able to help them, eg 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 contribute to 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 is 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 less 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.

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

    • You can contact us for help with injury management. 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 injury management
    Phone 0800 101 996
    Email returntowork@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.

    How your claims history affects your levies

    Our new way of supporting injured employees

    We’re rolling out a new, more customer-focused approach to supporting your injured employees, from late 2019 to late 2020.

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

    For more information, read our business update on our new way of supporting injured employees.

    Our new way of supporting injured employees

    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: 25 August 2020