EXCLUSIVE: 52% of organisations offer eye care to employees

eye care at workJust half (52%) of organisations provide employees with eye care at work, according to a study on behalf of Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

The research, carried out by Opinium in July 2018 among a sample of 507 HR decision makers across the UK, raises health and safety concerns, according to Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

He said: “The vast majority of the workforce is likely to be entitled to eye care due to their working role, including screen use, driving or safety requirements. This suggests there may be a significant number of UK companies and organisations not providing the eye care they should be.”

The survey asked the HR decision makers at organisations that do offer optical benefits the reason for the provision. The majority (52%) said it was part of their health and wellbeing offering, while 38% gave the reason of meeting health and safety regulations.

Over a third (35%) of respondents said optical care was offered purely as an employee benefit and exactly a third (33%) said it was provided to employees requiring safety eyewear. Only a quarter (26%) of employers said the provision was for workers who drive as part of their role.

Lythgow said: “It is interesting that the majority of employers that provide eye care do so to support the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Eye care is essential to health and wellbeing and we are delighted that so many employers are taking this enlightened view.

“While the low level of eye care provision in general is disappointing at just 52%, where eye care is made available the fact that the motivation is often holistic is very encouraging. We have seen a great increase in employers’ understanding of eye care as a valued benefit in itself and as part of a bigger picture of preventative health solutions and detection of serious health conditions such as glaucoma and cardiovascular heart disease.”