Fifty years of ACC - Government acts to modernise ACC for workers and women

  • ACC legislation passed by Parliament fifty years ago - on 20 October 1972
  • Cabinet approves new review framework for regular updates to Schedule Two, which lists covered occupational diseases
  • Framework to include steps to better support women and understand what diseases women are experiencing in the workplace
  • New evidence-based approach to updating the list of chronic illnesses caused through workplace exposure to harmful environments

“The Accident Compensation Act passed in the House fifty years ago today,” Minister for ACC Carmel Sepuloni said. “Back then it was a revolutionary change to the status quo and unique to New Zealand. Today it continues to be world leading and something we should all be proud of as a nation. 

However, in the ensuing fifty years since the legislation passed society has changed, and there are parts of ACC that need modernising.

“We know that for various reasons women, Māori, Pacific and Disabled people don’t receive the same support through the scheme, despite paying the same percentage of their wages and salary in levies as everyone else.

“Last month we began our journey to rebalancing ACC by extending cover to parents giving birth and reviewing the Accredited Employers Programme.  Today I’m announcing a new framework which we will use to review Schedule Two of the Accident Compensation Act. 

“This framework will guide a fresh look at what occupational diseases should be covered in the year 2022 and beyond.

“As part of this, a regular review framework, which takes gender into account, will improve our understanding of how occupational diseases impact different population groups in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“This framework and subsequent reviews will improve awareness and preventative action against how occupational diseases impact all people in the modern world we live in.

“The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, with the support of ACC will be responsible for using this review framework to support, if needed, changes to the list of occupational diseases which can be covered by ACC.

“We know that ACC is a unique and world-leading no fault insurance scheme and as we celebrate 50 years we lay the foundations for continuous improvement,” said Carmel Sepuloni.