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In relation to vocational rehabilitation for injured workers armstrong and laurs


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WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH:

WHAT HAPPENS TO WORN-OUT WORKERS?

AN OVERVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF

NEW ZEALAND’S ACCIDENT COMPENSATION SCHEME

IN RELATION TO VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION FOR INJURED WORKERS

ARMSTRONG AND LAURS

JULY 2007



WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH: WHAT HAPPENS TO WORN-OUT WORKERS?

AN OVERVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF

NEW ZEALAND’S ACCIDENT COMPENSATION SCHEME

IN RELATION TO VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION FOR INJURED WORKERS


Easy Money1



by Bill Sewell
Oh, it’s easy money stacking

carcases in the half-dark.

....

It’s easy money dodging timber



that would burst you like a tick.

....


yes, easy as pie

as a piece of cake


as falling off a log.

Or being felled by one.




AUTHORS:
Hazel Armstrong and Rob Laurs are lawyers for a Wellington law firm - Hazel Armstrong Law.
Hazel Armstrong Law specialises in personal injury litigation (ACC law), employment law, Occupational Health and Safety, occupational disease, vocational rehabilitation and retraining, and employment-related education.
Contact Details:
Hazel Armstrong Law

Box 2564


Wellington

New Zealand

Phone: 04 473 6767

legal@hazelarmstronglaw.co.nz



Acknowledgements

The researchers would like to thank Social Policy Evaluation and Research (SPEaR) Linkages funding programme for the Social Policy Research Award (SPRA), and Hazel Armstrong Law for additional funding to undertake the research.


Clayton, Alan Associate, National Research Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Australian National University; Associate, Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, University of Melbourne; Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Victorian Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, University of Ballarat

Duncan, Dr Grant Senior Lecturer in Social and Public Policy Programmes, Massey University- Albany Campus

Gravelle, Joyce Assistant Executive Director – NIDMAR, Canada

Kerr, Robin for lay out.

Lippel, Katherine Research Chair on Occupational Health and Safety Law, Law Faculty, University of Ottawa, Canada

McPherson, Kathryn Professor in Rehabilitation, Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Mehrhoff, Dr Friedrich Head of Rehabilitation Strategies, Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV), Germany

Mildenhall, Jo Interviewer and Legal Researcher

Russell, Marie Research Fellow, Health Services Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington

The 19 Participants who were interviewed for PART TWO

Walker, Cathy Director (retired), Health and safety Department, Canadian Autoworkers Union, Canada

Woodhouse, Sir Owen Chair, Royal Commission of Inquiry into Compensation for Personal Injury in New Zealand (1969)

Zang, Mario Berufshelfer, Berufsgenossenschaft der Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik (BGFE), Germany

Zimmermann, Wolfgang Executive Director NIDMAR, Canada
DISCLAIMER
The views expressed in this paper should not be taken to represent the views or policy of the Social Policy Evaluation and Research (SPEaR) Committee. Although all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility is accepted for the reliance by any person on any information contained in this paper, nor for any error in or omission from the paper.

CONTENTS
Easy Money by Bill Sewell…………………………………………………………
Authors………………………………………………………………………………
Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………….3
Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………7
Time Line……………………………………………………………………………..9

Easy Money 2

Acknowledgements 3

Time line 9

1896 – 2007 : An HISTORICAL OVERVIEW of WORKERS COMPENSATION IN NEW ZEALAND 11

From Brunner to Woodhouse and Beyond 11

The Old World: the Common Law 12

A domestic solution for a domestic problem: 1900 - 1966 16

The death throes of the common law: 1966 – 1974 – the Woodhouse Commission 18

The implementation of the Woodhouse report: a Landmark in social welfare 21

Conclusion 33

Bibliography 35

‘WAR – REHABILITATION’, from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited A.H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. Te Ara – The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, updated 26-Sep-2006, URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/1966/W/WarRehabilitation/en 36

PART TWO 37

IN-DEPTH CLAIMANT INTERVIEWS 37

ANALYSIS 40

(1) THE ROLE OF THE ACC CASE MANAGER– A KEY INTERFACE 40

The interviewees clearly considered that effective vocational rehabilitation is being impeded by the high turnover of case managers. A number of the interviewees specifically mentioned the impersonal approach taken by many case managers, and the adverse impact on them if case managers did not maintain consistent contact with them. Some claimants, even though they are receiving weekly compensation were not contacted by their case managers for months if not years 40

The AUT study noted that case managers play a key role in claimants’ experiences of vocational rehabilitation. The AUT study reported that in their case review of 547 claimant files, 71% of the files required some improvement by ACC to ensure full communication with the claimant took place. Likewise in 70% of the files reviewed some improvement was required to build and maintain relationships with claimants. 40

The following sample of the interviewee quotations illustrate the importance of the Case Manager-client relationship. They and other comments made but not included for reasons of length) highlight that the Case Manager role provides an opportunity for ACC focus for improved activity around claimant rehabilitation. 40

Since 1996, I’ve had several case managers. I’ve met about two out of about a dozen. Sometimes I’d ring up and no-one would know who was my case manager. I’d ring up and ask for this person because my weekly pay hadn’t gone in and it was because the new case manager hadn’t transferred it over. I thought it was just an automatic typing in the computer, but no, the new case manager has to approve it. (Jack) 40

Claimant Centredness 41

Retraining 44

The sense of loss 47

Conclusions 47

PART THREE 49

INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE REVIEW 49

AUSTRALIA 51

Workers’ Compensation in Australia 51

Statutory Responsibilities 52

Employers responsible for RTW 54

RTW rates – The Return to Work Monitor 55

Durable RTW rate 57

Non-durable RTW rate 57

RTW status at interview for Australia 57

RTW status at interview for New Zealand 57

Length of time back at work 58

RTW Monitor – Conclusion 58

A critique of the Australian systems of Workers’ compensation 59

(1) Inconsistencies between schemes 60

(2) The neo-liberal agenda 60

(3) Not all workers covered 62

(4) Australian Employers pay higher levies 63

(5) The Common Law 65

(6) Collapse of Major Insurers 67

Conclusion 68

Workers’ Compensation in Canada 70

Findings from the quantitative studies 71

Findings from the qualitative studies 73

Conclusion 74

RTW INTERVENTIONS IN CANADA 77

THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY RETURN TO WORK POLICY 77

British Columbia – the NIDMAR model 78

The NIDMAR Model – An Overview 78

Mandate 79

REHADAT Canada This comprehensive electronic information resource provides a wide range of data for employers, unions and healthcare practitioners that can be utilized in their daily work. 79

Disability Management (‘DM’) 80

THE CBDMA™ TOOL 81

Widely Accepted in a Diverse Range of Organisations 81

Audit Process 82

CBDMA™ Format 83

CONSENSUS 83

EVIDENCE 83

SURVEY/INTERVIEW 84

Ratings and Levels of Performance 84

Audit Data Collected 85

Audit Procedure 85

Adoption of the NIDMAR Audit Tool 86

EDUCATION


86

CURRICULUM FOR PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION 87

Roles 87

Canadian Pacific Railway’s experience (‘CPR’) provides an example of a company that has achieved successful results through its uptake of the CBDMA Tool. 88

THE CBDMA TOOL – A CANADIAN UNION PERSPECTIVE. 88

FIT WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS 89

IMPLICATIONS FOR NEW ZEALAND 89

CONCLUSION 90

GERMANY 92

Workers’ Compensation in GERMANY 92

THE GERMAN SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM 92

The members of this new association insure 70 million people in Germany – employees, schoolchildren, students and voluntary workers – against the effects of occupational disease and accidents, while 3.7 million businesses and public institutions are insured against liability for occupational disease and accidents. 93

THE BERUFSGENOSSENSCHAFTEN 94

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION IN GERMANY 97

Appendix One 104

List of Relevant sections of the IPRC Act 2001 in relation to vocational rehabilitation 104

APPENDIX TWO 105

CLAIMANT QUESTIONNAIRE 105

APPENDIX THREE: 110

ACC Claimant Experiences of Vocational Rehabilitation 110

A Research Project 110

Information Sheet and Consent Form 110

C159 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 114




EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This research attempts to assess how successful the Accident Compensation Corporation (‘ACC’) is in delivering sustainable vocational rehabilitation outcomes to injured New Zealanders. Every New Zealander who is injured at home, at work, on the road or on the sports-field is entitled to no-fault earnings-related compensation from ACC as well as social and vocational rehabilitation. These rehabilitation tools are geared towards returning injured persons to the work-force.


This research identifies key events in New Zealand’s social and political history such as the Brunner Mine Disaster and the World Wars that shaped values towards accidents, injuries and rehabilitation, and which in turn influenced the development of accident compensation legislation. To expand on this theme, PART ONE will provide an historical overview of the development of the Accident Compensation Scheme up to the present day. It will also focus on the concept of community responsibility, and complete rehabilitation - two philosophical principles that are embedded in the ACC system.
PART TWO provides direct statements from 19 claimants of their experiences of vocational rehabilitation. The claimant interviews make for poignant reading. It is acknowledged that those interviewed were at the difficult end of the spectrum, people who had been out of work and on ACC for many years. The main theme that emerges is that the claimants feel marginalised and powerless. The processes from their perspective are put in place for the ease of administration of ACC rather than to assist the claimant.
PART THREE reviews the international literature around vocational rehabilitation and Return-To-Work (‘RTW’) programmes in three selected jurisdictions – Australia, Canada and Germany. This section develops the analysis further, and examines how other jurisdictions approach claimant rehabilitation. The Australian Workers Compensation schemes thrust the responsibility of vocational rehabilitation upon the employer to a greater extent than the New Zealand system. However, it achieves similar return to work results to New Zealand at a greater cost compared to the New Zealand scheme. This section attests to the cost effectiveness of New Zealand’s accident compensation model. In Canada the literature review primarily focuses on an audit tool designed to improve the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation. This programme has recently been licensed to the Accident Compensation Corporation for implementation in New Zealand. Germany has the most integrated, multidisciplinary emphasis on vocational rehabilitation and retraining of all the jurisdictions studied. Germany has a highly advanced system that is more in line with the original vision for New Zealand’s accident compensation scheme. The literature review confirms that vocational rehabilitation in New Zealand is now more closely aligned with an individual responsibility and insurance model such as is run in Australia than the social insurance scheme that is operational in Germany.
PART FOUR summarises all of the previous sections and develops recommendations for further research and for consideration by policy makers in New Zealand. It refers to ILO Convention 159 – Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 and notes that if New Zealand wishes to ratify this convention it would need to provide and evaluate vocational guidance, vocational training and placement services.
It concludes by questioning whether privatisation is the way forward as New Zealand is confronted with social concerns: an ageing workforce and a skills shortage. The implementation of alternative approaches to rehabilitation is vital to sustain working lives, diversify skill sets to enhance employability and ensure financial losses are mitigated for those who are injured, their families and the community as a whole.

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