Coalition welcomes report but concerned about incentives

Press Release – ACC Futures Coalition

The ACC Futures Coalition is welcoming the report of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety but is expressing concern about the recommendations on the use of financial incentives to improve employer performance.

Media release on behalf of the ACC Futures Coalition – 30 April 2013

Coalition welcomes report but concerned about financial incentives

The ACC Futures Coalition is welcoming the report of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety but is expressing concern about the recommendations on the use of financial incentives to improve employer performance.

“The Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety has made many recommendations that should lead to safer workplaces,” said ACC Futures Coalition spokesperson Hazel Armstrong. “We are particularly pleased to see that they recommend that ACC partners with the new health and safety agency to oversee funding arrangements for the delivery of workplace injury prevention activities. ACC has reduced its spending on injury prevention over recent years and has failed in this important area of its work. We look forward to better co-ordination and more effective programmes, and hopefully more funding.”

“The only area of concern we have with the report at this stage is the emphasis the Taskforce places on financial incentives as a means of changing employer behaviour,” said Ms. Armstrong. “The report acknowledges that the motivations for businesses to improve workplace health and safety performance are varied. They also acknowledge that the use of ‘lag’ indicators that measure health and safety behaviour can lead to the underreporting of accidents. However their recommendation that we should have a levy regime (including ACC) that differentiates more meaningfully between employers based on their health and safety performance raises the possibility that the flawed experience rating regime put in place by the government will be extended.”
“There is a risk that the current government will go for a recommendation like this, which is superficially attractive, but won’t tackle the other recommendations that will really make a difference, such as improving worker participation,” said Ms. Armstrong.
ENDS

Contact: Hazel Armstrong: (027) 472 1793

The ACC Futures Coalition consists of community groups, academics, organisations representing people who need support from ACC, health treatment providers and unions who have come together around the following aim:

To build cross-party support for retaining the status of ACC as a publicly-owned single provider committed to the ‘Woodhouse Principles’, and a ‘no fault’ compensation social insurance system for all New Zealanders. Our commitment is to have an ACC scheme that has integrity and the trust of the public of New Zealand, and is focused on injury prevention, treatment, complete rehabilitation and compensation for the injured claimant.

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