49% do not receive eyecare benefits from their employer

Just under half (49%) of employee respondents state they do not receive any eyecare benefits from their employer, according to research by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

Its survey of 1,007 employees and 502 employers also found that 41% of employer respondents are concerned about their employees’ eyesight as a result of their use of display screen equipment (DSE) in their job.

The research also found:

  • 40% of employee respondents receive eyecare benefits from their employer, and 10% do not know if they receive eyecare benefits.
  • 45% of employer respondents are concerned that their employees spend too much time on display screen equipment as part of their working role.
  • 73% of employee respondents spend at least four hours a day working with DSE, 48% spend at least seven hours a day working at a digital screen, and 85% spend at least one hour a day using DSE for work purposes.
  • 81% of female employee respondents spend at least four working hours a day using DSE, compared to 69% of male employee respondents.
  • 65% of employees respondents under the age of 35 spend seven hours or more using DSE for work, compared to 32% of employee respondents aged 55 or over.

Jim Lythgow (pictured), director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, said: “The working hours people are spending in front of screens is, of course, likely to have increased over recent years but some employers may be surprised by quite how much time their employees now spend using DSE. This makes it more important than ever for employers to offer eyecare.

“It is a stipulation of the health and safety regulations that all screen users should receive [organisation]-funded eyecare and glasses, if required solely for DSE use. The fact that around half of employees state they do not receive such eyecare does not, however, necessarily mean it is not being provided. Communication is key here and it is vital that employers make employees aware of their entitlement and any eyecare that is available. In fact, it is even part of the DSE regulations that employers must not only fund eyecare but also communicate entitlement.

“With the level of use of DSE in the workplace today, employers are bound to be concerned about their employees’ eyesight. Implementing a simple eyecare policy is not only obligatory under health and safety legislation, it can also have much wider benefits in terms of health, wellbeing, productivity and morale.”