News Article

latest news in employment law

Challenging ACC Decisions – Work-related Personal Injuries

Published 12 Nov 2023

Employers can challenge decisions by ACC, which attribute an Employee's injury and subsequent time off work to the workplace.

Where an Employee has suffered a 'work-related personal injury' that prevents them from working, the Employer must pay the Employee their first week of compensation equal to 80% of their usual pay, without deducting sick leave. Following this, ACC takes over the obligation to pay weekly compensation payments if the Employee remains unable to work due to their injury.

The obligation to pay the first week due to a work-related personal injury applies irrespective of any paid sick leave entitlement an Employee has, so it comes at an extra cost to an Employer’s bottom line.

If there is a good basis to indicate that an Employee may not have suffered the injury at work, then the Employer may want to challenge that decision, including the obligation to pay them for the first week of their incapacity. For example, if there were very good reasons to indicate that the Employee did not suffer the injury at work, or perhaps it is associated with pre-existing medical condition, which did not result from an accident in the workplace. The options for challenging decisions made by ACC are summarised below:
  • Administrative review whereby ACC conducts an internal review of their decision. A review must be lodged within three months of a decision being made.
  • Independent review. These are carried out by FairWay Resolution, or the Independent Complaint and Review Authority.
  • Mediation and dispute resolution.
  • Appealing to District Court (and beyond).
  • Complaining to the Ombudsman.
You can find out more about the main options for resolving issues with ACC at

Employers Assistance Limited has recently published a new Employer eBook on this area, which you can find under the 'Library' section of the Employers Toolbox. This guide contains specific information about issues that affect Employers in the context of ACC, personal injuries, legal obligations, and corresponding entitlements.