Eye Tests Employer Obligations
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations 2007 entitles employees who regularly uses Display Screen Equipment (DSE) for a significant part of their normal work to an appropriate eye and an eyesight test. These tests must be made available and paid for by the employer. This includes when the employee is working remotely and in the current context, the employer should ensure that this requirement is being adhered to.
(Note: Display Screen Equipment is often referred to as VDU – Visual Display Units)
As part of this responsibility, the employer must inform employees of this entitlement. The employer may communicate this in a number of ways - the most common method is during the DSE assessment but e-mail reminders, notice boards, and HR Induction programmes are typically used. The form of communication used must be proven to be effective so that employees can avail of their entitlement. This is particularly important when the employee is working remotely.
Who gets it?
Every employee who regularly uses Display Screen Equipment as a significant part of their normal work has a right to opt for an appropriate eye test and an eyesight test which must be made available and paid for by the employer.
When (and how often) should the Test be done?
Employees have the right to an eye and eyesight test before taking up work if it is routine work with a VDU (one continuous hour or more every day) as well as at regular intervals. In determining the intervals, factors such as the ages of the employees and the intensity of the work should be considered in deciding the frequency of repeat tests. Further details on the test can be found in the HSA guidance document (pg.12-14).
Where eye tests carried out by the doctor or optometrist reveal that particular lenses are required for VDU work, the costs of minimum requirement frames and lenses must be borne by the employer. The cost of dealing with more general eye problems which are revealed as a result of the tests, and which are not directly related to working with a VDU is a matter for the employee as part of his or her general health care.
See below for further information:
HSA Display Screen Equipment FAQ
HSA Guide to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007