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ACC needs more staff a year after shedding 70 jobs


ACC needs more staff a year after shedding 70 jobs
By TRACY WATKINS - The Dominion Post.  15/07/2010

ACC has admitted it will need more staff to cope with levy changes, just a year after announcing up to 70 jobs were being shed.

Changes announced yesterday will see workplaces with good safety records rewarded with a big drop in levies and workplaces with a high rate of accidents pay more because they are a bad risk.

Some of the biggest employers in high-risk industries, such as meatworks, could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if they are able to trim the number of accidents.

Chief executive Jan White confirmed ACC would require more staff in initial stages to cope and would probably hire contractors.

Labour's state services spokesman, Grant Robertson, said the country experienced a similar policy in the 1990s, when long-serving staff were dumped and then rehired on higher contractors' rates. "It just doesn't make good economic sense."

ACC Minister Nick Smith said the changes were overdue to provide a greater degree of fairness and improve workplace safety.

"This announcement needs to be seen in the context of New Zealand killing over 50 people a year in the workplace, or one a week."

From April 1 next year, businesses paying more than $10,000 a year in ACC levies would be eligible for a discount, or face a penalty, of up to 50 per cent based on their claims for the previous three years. Smaller firms would have no-claims bonuses and high-claim penalties.

The Council of Trade Unions president said the move provided incentives for accidents to be covered up.

Source: Fairfax Media.

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