Employer contributing towards glasses?

Discussion in 'Work, Careers, Employment rights, further study' started by Sweet Pea, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Sweet Pea

    Sweet Pea Frequent Poster


    I'm long sighted and so need glasses for reading and computer work. My last pair wore out a couple of years ago and I have been putting off replacing them due to the expense. I use a PC for 8 hours a day and I have recently started to squint and my eyes get very tired. My employer pays for VHI HealthSteps Gold and I recently found out that I can get €70 towards a new pair of glasses through the VHI, plus €25 off an eye test (I think I can get a free eye test also through my PRSI contributions).

    I asked my HR Department some time back if they were obliged to pay for new glasses for me (obviously a basic pair and not designer frames!) and the said no because they already pay my VHI. Just wanted to know if that's correct. According to the Health and Safety Authority website:

    When is an employer liable for the costs of providing glasses?
    When eye tests carried out by the doctor or optometrist reveal that particular lenses are required for VDU work, the basic costs of providing the glasses, or of new lenses where the employee already wears glasses, must be borne by the employer, taking account of any social welfare entitlement that might apply.

    My point is that a basic pair of glasses might cost say €150 and going by the above, the Employer has to pay this. If they insist that it is covered by the VHI and they will not pay, I would only get €70 towards a pair of glasses and so would lose out.

    Seems to be penny pinching I know but just want to know what I'm entitled to :)

    Advice appreciated
    Sweet Pea
  2. crumdub12

    crumdub12 Frequent Poster

    You should approach HR with this information, if you work at Monitor you have a stong case.

    Check also the ergonomics of your work environment , quite common for employers to get lighting , monitor position checked for reduce chromanance glare, creaked neck etc....
  3. Seagull

    Seagull Frequent Poster

    I think the issue is that you do not need glasses only for VDU (Video Display Unit) work. In some cases, people may need special lenses or coatings for VDU work. In your case, you would merely be getting normal lenses.
  4. Sweet Pea

    Sweet Pea Frequent Poster

    Hi there,

    I'll check it out - Seagull I do need them specifically for VDU. With my last pair of glasses I was told that I can get by reading for an hour or so without them but for the 8 hour stints at the VDU, I have trouble focusing and my eyes get very tired. My last pair of glasses had the VDU special coating.

  5. Martinslan

    Martinslan Frequent Poster

    thep lace I work provides a "risk assessment" on the work area. If people are working more that 2 hours at a VDU then you take a 5 minute break per hour and do other work. Also the company pays for an eye test to ensure all is in order at a specified spec company.
  6. Sweet Pea

    Sweet Pea Frequent Poster

    HR have just come back and said that VHI will pay €70 towards glasses plus they will cover the cost of an eye test. The company will not contribute anything. I suppose they pay my VHI so I can't really complain....
  7. ClubMan

    ClubMan Frequent Poster

    Treatment Benefit Scheme
  8. nelly

    nelly Frequent Poster

    if the VHI is in your contract when you started it has nothing to do with this issue. I would go to the optician as planned get the costs and if possible a letter from them stating that these glasses and lenses are bottom of the range and the costs are current market prices. Staple these together and tell your HR rep that irrespective of VHI they are required to pay *your bill in full as part of the VDU/DSE Regulations.

    *Your bill as no employee should have to pay for safety glasses, unless the costs are excessive due to choice of non-basic product.