Review of Schedule 2 of the Injury Prevention Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001 (IPRC Act): Report to the Minister of Labour - 2005/06
4. Issues Related to Schedule 2
Schedule 2 of the IPRC Act is comprised of a list of diseases linked to specific occupational exposures. The Schedule appears to be based on the International Labour Organization’s List of Occupational Diseases. Claims for compensation for a specific work-related disorder are handled differently, depending on whether or not the disorder is listed under Schedule 2. Investigating whether a particular claim meets all three criteria listed under the IPRC Act can be very costly in terms of time and resources. For disorders and exposures listed under Schedule 2, the process is much more streamlined. If the presence of the disorder is verified, the second and third criteria are accepted as being satisfied. Therefore, it only has to be determined that, on the balance of probabilities, the causative exposure occurred as a result of work activities. The current version of Schedule 2 does not include many of the categories listed in the ILO List. Even the ILO List does not include many disorders that can definitely arise due to occupational exposures. A more comprehensive list is included as an Annex to ILO Recommendation 194, released in 2002. Further additions to this more comprehensive list were to be considered at an ILO meeting late in 2005. New Zealand is a signatory to ILO Convention 42, but has not ratified any of the later amendments to the Convention. The disorders listed in the ILO Annex and its possible additions form a good starting point for establishing a comprehensive list of occupational disorders that should be included in Schedule 2. However, they should not be adopted without modification because they do not necessarily meet the appropriate criteria or format for a revised Schedule 2. For inclusion in Schedule 2, it is desirable that there is strong evidence of a causal link between the occupational exposure and the disorder, that there are clear and repeatable criteria for diagnosing the disorder, and that the disorder comprises a considerable proportion of the cases of that disorder in the overall population or an identifiable subset of the population. The structure of Schedule 2 is best based on a combination of specific disorder-exposure combinations, unless the number of potential exposures linked to a particular disorder, or the number of disorders linked to a particular exposure, make it impractical to list them all.