Ways to Reduce your ACC Employer Costs

Not known to many employers but ACC have a couple of options available to employers whereby they can reduce their ACC costs.


The first is called the Workplace Safety Discount and is available for small employers (less than 10 staff) and involved in either: agriculture, construction, fishing, forestry, motor trades, road transport or waste management.

You may be eligible for a discount of 10% on your costs.  See the ACC website at www.acc.co.nz/wsd for more information.  The programme is about demonstrating good health and safety management practices.

There is talk that this plan will be opened up to other industries.


Large employers may be eligible for discounts of between 10% – 20% under the ACC Workplace Safety Management Programme.  This involves having a robust Health & Safety plan in place and  independently audited.

See www.acc.co.nz/wsmp for more details.

Other things in the pipeline is the possible return of No Claim Discounts which rewards employers with good accident histories.

From a payroll perspective if your business runs very different tasks (office and manufacturing), it is possible to split staff to different ACC Codes and rates.  For example, manufacturing would be on a higher rate than office staff.  Talk to us about this if you want more information.

There are a number of ‘tests’ you must meet first:

Section 170 of the ACC act:

“the Corporation may classify the employer’s employees in separate classification units for different activities if the employer meets the threshold (if any) specified in regulations and if—

  • (a) the employer so requests; and
  • (b) the employer is engaged in 2 or more distinct and independent activities; and
  • (c) each of those activities provides services or products to external customers in such a way that each activity could, without adaptation, continue on its own without the other activities; and
  • (d) accounting records are maintained by the employer to the satisfaction of the Corporation that—

o   (i) demonstrate the separate management and operation of each activity; and

o   (ii) allocate to each activity the earnings of employees engaged solely in that activity

And for the record, the highest risk sector in New Zealand is professional rugby players.

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