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Laybourne45310  
#1 Posted : 16 May 2018 15:32:37(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Laybourne45310

I'm left wondering if the employer should reimburse a person after they've been to their own optician.  For many years, we've run a voucher scheme for DSE eyesight tests which entitle the user to a pair of glasses if prescribed.  Individuals come back from time to time saying "they weren't aware" of the scheme, despite it being stated during induction.  This can lead to huge costs to the company for one individual, should we reimburse.  The regs say the employer must provide an eye & eyesight test on the request of the individual, and that they must provide correct appliances if prescribed for VDU use.

If we find out after the fact, should we reimburse the costs?

Another question we've had lately is from a person who uses contact lenses, who would need correction with glasses when using her computer at work.  As they are under the constant care of their contact lens specialist, they don't want to go to our specified optician (a major highstreet chain).  We would still have a duty to provide under these circumstances.  Any suggestions?

DaveDowan  
#2 Posted : 16 May 2018 15:38:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
DaveDowan

Hi From my point of view if you provide a voucher scheme which covers the requirement for DSE eye tests then employees should use that scheme, if they "gone private" I feel you either only reimburse to the value of the scheme or ask them to use the scheme

George_Young  
#3 Posted : 16 May 2018 18:39:27(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
George_Young

As you already supply vouchers for some employees,  its clear you have informed them of the right to request eye tests, do you have evidence of this?(such as policies, signed checklist on induction, DSE training to name a few), then I would say that the company has done all that is possible and should not be liable for the costs of employees going private.

It made also worth an additional mention in any refresher DSE training if not already done so.

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 16 May 2018 18:40:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

And is your voucher scheme adequately communicated? Judging from your post it needs better publicity to stop employees going off and doing their own thing.

For DSE the employer is liable for the cost of test and basic prescription

A lot of opticians now give the test "free" on purchase of eyewear so it is a balancing act.

In the grand scheme a few quid is cheaper than an HSE intervention.
O'Donnell54548  
#5 Posted : 17 May 2018 06:44:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
O'Donnell54548

The employer is not required to pay for any spectacles prescribed for purposes other than DSE use, even if they include DSE use. The intention of the Regulations is not the free supply of spectacles to all DSE users, but to people who need spectacles only to use DSE as part of their employment. Most DSE users will not require a specific prescription for DSE use. (source: The College of Optometrists).

I suspect that the majority, if not all, of your DSE users are not entitled to any payment for corrective glasses (voucher or not).

thanks 2 users thanked O'Donnell54548 for this useful post.
nic168 on 17/05/2018(UTC), DHeptinstall on 17/05/2018(UTC)
achrn  
#6 Posted : 17 May 2018 07:25:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

I agree with O'Donnell54548 - it's worth checking, because you only need to pay for glasses that are prescribed exclusively for DSE use - if they are worn for other reasons too then they aren't your liability.

Having said which, we operate a voucher scheme and positively allow people to use their own optician instead, in which case if the optician signs a form that says the examination meets the DSE requirements we refund the employee the lesser of the cost of the eyetest or slightly more than the voucher costs us.  Similarly, we would refund the employee up to what the voucher scheme glasses would have cost us.  Neither sum covers what the employee has paid, in my experience.  Our documentation makes it clear that it won't cover the full cost, and lets the employee go that route if they want.

I absolutely would not refund an employee more because they 'weren't aware'.  It's in induction, it's on the intranet, it's a question on every workstation assessment they complete (so we have a record of them saying they are aware of the company arrangements for free eyetests, or if they answer no to that question, a subsequent record of them being told the arrangements again).

lorna  
#7 Posted : 17 May 2018 08:08:05(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lorna

Similar issues here - eye test voucher scheme is well publicised but some still want to use their own optician. We don't reimburse the cost of the eye test but if they say that they need glassess for DSE use, I offer them a voucher - & tell them that's the only way I can do it. 99% of the time it turns out that they need glasses for something else anyway - asking them to repeat the eye test weeds out the chancers.

Edited by user 17 May 2018 08:08:50(UTC)  | Reason: I type faster than I can spell!

nic168  
#8 Posted : 17 May 2018 09:16:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
nic168

O'Donnell- thank you for the quote, will come in useful.

 I have had this problem previously- no matter how often and how the information was put out about vouchers there would always be some who went their own way and claimed re-imbursement.

We took the line of re-imburse to cost of a DSE sight the test and up to the value of spectacles available through the voucher scheme, provided their Line manager had authorised the attendance at the optician, this would involve an explaination of why this action was taken.

It did weed  out a few people who had been getting new specs on a regular basis at some expense, it seems this was seen as a "legitimate perk" in some quarters. 

Roundtuit  
#9 Posted : 17 May 2018 09:30:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

And if your company introduces mandatory shop floor eye protection (impact resistant glasses) how do you balance that employees should not pay for PPE but that an impact resistant protection generally with side shields will be at higher cost than a standard NHS prescription?

Always worked on the basis IF company policy dictates (including commiment to DSE Regulations) then the company pays for suitable PPE which does not include designer frames, tints and coatings.

lorna  
#10 Posted : 18 May 2018 09:58:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
lorna

Our voucher scheme also provides prescription safety eye wear - 2 vouchers needed for varifocals (& yes, I have asked them to explain why they need varifocals...). When they found out that the specs were quite 'stylish' , demand rocketed.

O'Donnell54548  
#11 Posted : 18 May 2018 10:51:29(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
O'Donnell54548

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

And if your company introduces mandatory shop floor eye protection (impact resistant glasses) how do you balance that employees should not pay for PPE but that an impact resistant protection generally with side shields will be at higher cost than a standard NHS prescription?

Always worked on the basis IF company policy dictates (including commiment to DSE Regulations) then the company pays for suitable PPE which does not include designer frames, tints and coatings.

Happy to be corrected, but I do not believe that the provision of glasses for DSE use is PPE? 

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