The cost of an eye test is far less than a health and safety lawsuit. As employees become more educated in company eye test legislation, the cost for employers could potentially rise, with staff requesting eye examinations, spectacles and other optical devices for work.
Employers are required by law to cover the cost of an eye test for a worker if they request it, and also pay for any optical equipment they need to work in a safe manner, most commonly spectacles.
Employers are only liable for Display Screen Equipment (DSE) tests, not for any other eye examination, and are only required to provide this on an annual basis, unless an employee’s vision can be compromised by the environment they work in.
It is in the interests of companies to play an active role in looking after the eyesight of their employees. While some organisations continue to view the issue as just another compliance hassle, other, more enlightened employers, are realising they can package their compliance requirements as genuine benefits for staff.
Marc Karbaron, managing partner at OPTIX opticians, points out:
“If people viewed a visit to the opticians as seriously as they take a trip to the dentist, eyecare would be up there as one of the leading benefits offered to employees. That’s where it should be, but there’s still a lot of education work to be done before employers and employees understand the true value of an eye test.”
Employers should be developing clear company policies on eyecare, to avoid any liable disputes and to help the workforce increase its productivity.
Five reasons to develop a formal eyecare policy:
Similarly employers should have a DSE policy in place. When creating this type of policy companies should look to include:
For more information, Workplace Law has published a Display Screen Equipment Policy and Management Guide version 2.0 to help employers in England and Wales ensure that they comply with their duties under law, and to provide a clear record of the policy and procedure when it comes to DSE. The draft policy covers:
The draft policy also comes with a 18-page Management Guide containing helpful notes on the policy and the latest HSE guidance on working on VDUs. To buy, click here» or call 0871 777 8881.