VSP Eye Health
When it comes to health and wellbeing, employers have a duty of care to their employees and eye health is no exception. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 which updated the existing 2005 Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act in accordance with EU rules, employers are legally required to ensure the safety of all employees in the workplace including providing safe work equipment.
This also includes employees who habitually use computers or other display screen equipment for a significant part of their working day. As part of this, employers are expected to fund occupational eye tests and meet any basic costs of resulting treatment.
As it stands, 74 per cent of employees wear corrective eyecare or have had laser surgery.
But aside from the legalities, why is eye health so important?
Eye tests don’t just identify sight issues or eye conditions, they can help identity some of the very first signs of a range of serious health conditions including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, even before physical symptoms even emerge.
The London School of Economics estimate that diabetes-related absenteeism amounts to around £8.4bn per year. Yet despite this, 2014 ICM research revealed that failings in national eye care was costing the UK more than £3bn per year, while over 6 million British adults admitted they have never had an eye test.
Early detection via eye tests can therefore help maintain a healthier workforce by reducing absenteeism and long-term sick leave as well as reducing claims costs.
To this end, IHC have partnered with VSP Vision Care to provide a new range of optical benefits for employers and their staff.
“The VSP offering ensures that every employee is offered specialist eye tests and assessments while great quality eye care is provided to all who need it,” says Paul Roberts, senior consultant at IHC.
“In terms of cost, many HR teams still use outdated paper processes to either claim eye care costs back on expenses or use eye care vouchers instead, but the VSP plan is a simple and much better method of keeping control of budgets.”
The new VSP offering includes:
- eScreen, an online eye screen which uses optometric software to check user sight in their normal work environment
- An optometrist follow-up eye examination
- £100 allowance towards eye examination and glasses for VDU use only
- 20% discount on glasses and direct payment of benefits to participating network providers
- Full range of support materials and communications for internal promotions.
Please note: eScreen is not a replacement for a full vision health check by an optometrist.
Roberts adds: “We at IHC particularly like the nationwide coverage which is not linked to any one particular optical brand or chain of shops. This serves our customers well.
“And for clients who want to improve eye health and incorporate this into existing wellbeing packages, VSP offers onsite services, screening and wellbeing talks as well.”
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