ACC Workplace Safety Management Practices Programme

work placeIf you’re an employer, even a self-employed one, the New Zealand government requires you to provide work-related personal injury insurance for you and all your employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, or casual workers. This ACC Workplace Cover is similar to the ACC Cover Plus and Cover Plus Extra that all employees are required to have for non-work related personal injuries and pay the applicable ACC levy through the PAYE system. Although Workplace Cover is mandatory, there are steps you can take to reduce your ACC levies.

How Employers Can Save on Their Workplace Cover

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the government entity that manages the no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents, offers the ACC Workplace Safety Management Practices (WSMP) Programme to reward medium- to large-sized employers who are committed to reducing injuries by creating and maintaining a safer workplace. Employers who implement systems and processes aimed at preventing injuries receive discounts on their standard workplace ACC levies. According to the ACC website, about 2,000 New Zealand companies participate in the WSMP programme.

The ACC offers three discount levels, depending on your workplace safety practices. The Primary level receives a 10% discount for implementing entry level standards, such as furnishing the ACC with health and safety documents that include a statement of commitment to workplace safety. The Secondary level earns a 15% discount to reflect the employer’s consolidation of good practices, including communicating information to management staff on how to support an employee’s safe and early return to work following an injury. The Tertiary level receives a 20% discount for continuous improvement and best practice framework standards that include evidence of management involvement in supporting a safe and early return to work where possible.

Your company’s applicable level of savings is determined by a self-assessment and an ACC audit. If your business is structured where you are both the self-employed and the employer, then the discount applies to your ACC Cover Plus or ACC Cover Plus Extra ACC levy. The workplace safety management discount is valid for 24 months.

How to Join the WSMP Programme

In order to receive the ACC Workplace Cover levy discount, employers must join the programme by completing its four stages. They are a self-assessment, completing the application form, a workplace audit and an auditor’s report.

The self-assessment of the workplace must follow the ACC442 Workplace Safety Management Practices Audit Standards document available this is available on the ACC website Business owners should allocate one day to complete the workplace self-assessment. This assessment will help you determine whether you have met the Primary level of requirements for the discount. If you do, then you can move on to the next phase and complete the ACC4028 Workplace Safety Management Practices application form.

Once you submit your application form, a workplace audit will take place by an ACC approved staff auditor. The audit will include a systematic review of your workplace safety systems, processes and procedures, as well as site visits and group interviews with management and staff. There is no cost to you for this audit.

An auditor’s report will be drafted based on the audit’s findings and sent to you and the ACC. The ACC then informs employers on whether they are accepted into the Workplace Safety Management Practices programme and the level of discount they will receive off their ACC Workplace Cover levy.

Other ACC Levy Savings Opportunities

In addition to the WSMP programme discount, there are other ways employers can save on their ACC levies, particularly those who fall into the two categories of the self-employed and the employer. You can make sure that you, your family and your business are financially secure if you are unable to work due to an injury or illness by supplementing ACC cover with private insurance. These options include income protection insurance, mortgage protection insurance, permanent disability insurance, trauma insurance and life insurance.

To find the best insurance product(s) for you, use our rates comparison tool to get quotes from up to seven different leading insurance companies. It’s quick, easy and free, plus it’s available 24/7 so you can get your quotes when it’s convenient for you. With a rates comparison, you’ll be able to do a side-by-side review of the different covers available that will adequately protect you and your business.

Once you get your rates comparison, talk to us about saving on your ACC levies by reducing your loss of earnings compensation to lower your ACC levy and then using the savings to purchase more comprehensive private insurance.

As a self-employed business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Leave your insurance coverage to us and we’ll make sure you are properly insured in both your personal life and business life.