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The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), is the organisation responsible for both overseeing New Zealand workplace safety and compensating anyone injured in the workplace.

It is funded by levies paid by New Zealand and Australian businesses who are registered as NZ employers. And from 1 April 2017 the good news for business is that these levies will fall.

In the 1970s New Zealanders contracted out of the common law right to sue for injury. Up until that time, similar to here in Australia, courts were bogged down with all manner of compensation claims mainly from workers who had been injured in the workplace.

To improve productivity and reduce cost, New Zealand introduced the ACC scheme. The scheme compensates anyone who is injured anywhere in New Zealand for any reason.

If they work in New Zealand and can’t work because of a personal injury, ACC will compensate them for 80% of their wages. If they require medical attention, ACC will cover most if not all of this. No questions asked. In return, no one in New Zealand has the right to sue for personal injury.

If, when robbing a bank, you lose your hand when trying to blow a safe, your medical costs will be reimbursed. Of course, you might be subject to a certain amount of criminal legal action but your medical costs will be taken care of.

ACC has announced that ACC work levies, the levy paid by employers to cover the costs of injury in the workplace, will reduce by around 10% over the next 2 years. Exactly what you’re reduction will be will depend on your industry so it could be slightly more or less.

The average levy rate for 2017/18 will be $0.72/$100 of wages. ACC obtains the income information directly from Inland Revenue so there is no need for you to complete a return for them. From that information they raise an invoice.

For information on the levies payable by your organisation take a look at http://www.acc.co.nz/PRD_EXT_CSMP/groups/external_levies/documents/guide/wpc139803.pdf

The information in this article is indicative of NZ tax rules and changes and not intended to be complete for all intents or purposes and does not constitute advice. It is recommended that you obtain professional advice, suited to your particular circumstances, from us before acting on anything you read.