Should my Employer Pay for my Eye Test and Glasses?

There are situations where your employer should pay for your eye test, and even for glasses. This is the case if you work with display screen equipment (DSE) for more than an hour per day. This type of equipment is also commonly referred to as VDU equipment.

employee having an eye test

However, even if you spend long periods of time in front of a screen your employer will only have to pay for eye tests and glasses under certain circumstances.

The key point to be aware of is that your employer will only be liable to pay for glasses if a special pair or prescription are needed to do your job.


Should my Employer Pay for my Eye Test?

If your job involves using a display screen the HSE says:-


An employer must provide an eyesight test for a DSE user if they request one. The employer must also pay for the test.

HSE Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment

If you use a display screen for more than an hour per day at work, then you can ask your employer to provide you with eye testing.


Should my Employer Pay For My Glasses?

Although employers should cover the cost of eye examinations, they would only have to pay for glasses if you needed them specifically for your job.

That means if your normal prescription glasses would allow you to see the screen properly, they would not have to pay.

However, if the nature of your role meant you needed a special prescription for the distance the screen was viewed at, then your employer should pay for your glasses.


Health & Safety Regulations on Eye Tests & Glasses

If you’d like to read further, the regulations covering employer’s responsibilities for eye tests and glasses are as follows:-

  • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.
  • Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations in 2002 & 2007.

The legislation mentions issues such as the employee using a visual display unit (VDU) for periods of over one hour. The transfer of information between the employee and their VDU should also be key to their job.

This might include workers using:-

  • A display screen at their workstation.
  • A display screen on their computer numerical control.
  • Supermarket tills.

The act also defines a number of computer health and safety issues that are the responsibility of both the employee and the employer.

These include making sure there is no ‘unnecessary’ glare, perhaps by fitting an anti-glare screen. Also that the VDU and surrounding area is clean, and that the worker is at a suitable height and distance from the computer.


If You Are Entitled to an Eye Test

It is your responsibility to ask your employer to pay for your eye test. – They do not have a responsibility to offer it to you.

You may also request a risk assessment of your work station –including making sure it has adequate lighting and ventilation.

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