Update on firefighter access to ACC services
Yesterday, UFBA CE and Board Chair met with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Jan Tinetti to discuss several matters of importance, including the way in which ACC needs to provide better support for our members, the firefighters.
It was pleasing to hear that the Accident Compensation (Maternal Birth Injury and Others) Amendment Bill has passed into law. For all practical purposes, the ACC law now requires ACC to disprove claims employees may lodge for personal injury caused by work-related gradual process, disease, or infection. Prior to this, the burden of proof sat with the claimant. UFBA understands that schedule 2 (Occupational Diseases) will be reviewed over the next 18 months.
The Minister also acknowledged that ACC legislation requires expansion to recognise gradual workplace illness or disease in relation to volunteers alongside employees and advised that Minister Sepuloni is now open to finding solutions in this area.
The UFBA are committed to seeing change in the ACC legislation to recognise the potential health and wellbeing risks to all firefighters along with equal access for volunteers. Through our relationship with the Minister, we will continue to work on this for the benefit of our members.