16 Oct 2009

Horticulture NZ also nervous about ACC changes

7:25 pm on 16 October 2009

Horticulture New Zealand is concerned that changes to the way accident compensation is calculated for seasonal workers injured on the job will further discourage New Zealanders from seeking employment in the industry.

Under changes announced this week by ACC Minister Nick Smith, cover for work-related injuries could increase by an average of 16 cents per $100 of earnings to $1.47, while non-work injury rates could rise by 67c per $100 of earnings to $2.17.

Federated Farmers has already criticised its own sector's levy increases, which it says will be a lot higher than the average rate.

Now Horticulture New Zealand says the way in which compensation is calculated for seasonal workers appears to significantly reduce worker entitlements if they are injured, while increasing the rates they'll pay.

Chief executive Peter Silcock says it means New Zealanders will be less likely to take on seasonal work.