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Accident Compensation Act, 2001

Accident Compensation Act, 2001

The Accident Compensation Act 2001 (the Act) is a piece of comprehensive New Zealand legislation that guides the law around injury prevention, rehabilitation of injured workers and entitlements following injuries, both in general and at work. Workplace injuries also fall under this Act.

The Act also outlines the way in which the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) operates in its role to provide comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors if they are injured in an accident.

If an employee has a physical or mental injury covered by the Act, they are entitled to medical treatment, rehabilitation and weekly compensation for lost wages or salary. An employee is also entitled to a monetary lump sum to assist with a permanent disability. In the event of a fatal injury, this monetary form of compensation goes to the family members and is intended to help support them financially.

The amount of compensation an employee can receive depends on a number of factors.

The Act covers medical treatments such as emergency hospital visits, general hospital treatment, visits to the GP, physiotherapist, specialist treatment and surgeons. To decide if the treatment meets the requirements under the Act, the ACC will take into account how serious the injury is, the treatment options available in New Zealand and the generally accepted treatment for their specific injury.

Weekly compensation is calculated based on the employee’s pre-injury weekly earnings. If an employee is injured at work, the employer must pay for the first week of compensation (usually at 80% of the employee’s weekly earnings). An employer cannot require an employee to take paid sick leave during that first week. If the employee is not injured at work, they do not get any compensation for the first week.

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