Employers’ vision is fuzzy on eyecare regulations

Employers are spending unnecessary amounts on eyecare benefits for staff because they do not fully understand the relevant legislation.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations require employers to provide all employees who use visual display units (VDUs) with eye tests, when requested, and glasses, if required.

But according to Specsavers’ Corporate Eyecare research, although 88% of respondents claim to be familiar with the regulations, only 70% think they are clear.

Just over a quarter (28%) of respondents believe an employer should offer and pay for varifocal or bifocal spectacles for VDU use, but the regulations stipulate that the company need only provide single-vision glasses.

Some 90% believe they must offer, and pay for, eye tests for employees who work with VDUs, but 59% think they only need to make a contribution towards glasses, and 20% say they only need to make a contribution if they want to.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, said: “It is important for organisations to make sure they are fully aware of the stipulations, so they ensure they are caring for their employees’ health but are not incurring unnecessary costs.”