Eye test policy template3 min read
Use this model eye test policy to help meet your legal obligations for providing eye tests to employees.
What is an Eye test policy?
Employees who operate with display screen equipment (DSE) (either in the office or at home) have the right to request a free eye test under specified conditions. The obligations of employers in respect to such testing are outlined in Regulation 5 of the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2792). The Regulations are intended to detect any visual faults that may need to be corrected when an employee works with DSE.
The law says employers must arrange an eye test for display screen equipment (DSE) users if they ask for one, and provide glasses if an employee needs them only for DSE use.
DSE work does not cause permanent damage to eyes, but long spells of DSE work can lead to tired eyes.
What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: This legislation places a duty on employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. It includes provisions for the regular assessment of risks, which may include eye health assessments for employees who use display screen equipment (DSE) as part of their work.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations 1992: These regulations impose specific requirements on employers to ensure that employees who regularly use DSE, such as computers, have access to regular eye tests. Employers are also responsible for providing suitable corrective appliances (glasses) if needed.
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (Amendment) Regulations 2002: This amendment extends the scope of DSE assessments and includes home workers within the requirements for eye tests.
Equality Act 2010: This Act ensures that employees with disabilities are not discriminated against in the workplace. An eye test policy should consider the reasonable adjustments needed for employees with visual impairments.
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations: Depending on the industry and specific workplace conditions, there may be additional regulations that relate to eye health and safety, especially in roles that involve hazardous substances or activities.
Eye test Policy
Employees who are 'users' of display screen equipment (DSE) (also known as visual display units or VDUs) under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, have a legal right to an eye and eyesight test, on request.
This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].
Definition of a DSE user
You are a DSE user if the following criteria apply:
- you normally use DSE for continuous or near-continuous spells of an hour or more at a time;
- you use DSE this way on a daily basis;
- fast transfer of information between the user and screen is an important requirement of your job; and
- you depend on the use of DSE to do your job.
Entitlement to eye and eyesight tests
An eye and eyesight test will be provided, on request, to employees who are DSE users. Where a DSE user, who experiences visual difficulties that could be caused by his/her DSE work, requests an eye and eyesight test, the employer will ensure that this is provided as soon possible after the request is made.
There is no obligation on employees to have an eye and eyesight test.
Arrangements and payment for eye and eyesight tests
If you are eligible for an eye test you should make a request via your manager.
The employer does not provide paid time off to attend eye and eyesight tests.
[Employees are required to attend our appointed representatives for providing eye and eyesight tests. [Company]'s appointed representatives are:
- [registered ophthalmic optician, name and address;]
- [registered medical practitioner with suitable qualifications, name and address; or]
- [name and contact details, registered ophthalmic optician or medical practitioner with suitable qualifications in the employer's occupational health department.]
You may make your own arrangements with a registered ophthalmic optician or registered medical practitioner with suitable qualifications, and the cost will be reimbursed by [Company] on receipt of written confirmation from the examining optician that the eye and eyesight test has been carried out.]
The provision of eye and eyesight tests and spectacles will be available only under [Company]'s voucher scheme. The voucher is redeemable at [name of registered ophthalmic optician or registered medical practitioner with suitable qualifications].]
Payment for glasses
Where an eye and eyesight test shows that glasses are necessary to correct eye or vision defects for the purposes of DSE work, [Company] will pay for the cost of basic frames and prescribed lenses.
Where an eye and eyesight test shows that glasses are necessary to correct eye or vision defects for the purposes of DSE work, you may choose more costly appliances (for example with designer frames or lenses with optional treatments not necessary for the work) and [Company] will contribute a portion of the total cost of a luxury appliance equal to the cost of a basic appliance.
Issue date: [date]
Author: [name, job title]
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