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Your HR Questions Answered

We aim to give our readers and followers the best advice when it comes to managing people effectively. Every month you can read a digest of some HR questions that might be relevant for you.

This month we are covering a special topic on Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Eyecare.

Q: As an employer do I have to pay for an employee to get their eyes tested?

A: Any employee who habitually uses a Visual Display Unit (VDU) on a regular basis (i.e. for continuous periods of more than one hour) are entitled to an appropriate eye and eyesight test, which must be made available by the employer at his or her own cost, except where there may be a social welfare entitlement.

Q: Do I need to pay towards a pair of glasses too?

A:  If it is found that spectacles are required specifically for VDU use, the employer must fund the cost for basic frames and lenses.

Q: What if an employee uses a laptop? Are they covered by the 2007 Safety, Health and Welfare at work Regulation?

A: No. Laptops are not covered by the regulation. This is due to the fact that under regulations, the keyboard should be tiltable and separate from the screen so as to allow the user to find a comfortable working position; a laptop should not be used for long periods of time and so is not covered.

Q: When is an employee entitled to an eye-sight test?

A: Employees have a right to an eye and eyesight test before taking up work, if it is habitual work, with a VDU (one continuous hour or more every day) and again at regular intervals.

Q: What if the employee already wears corrective lenses and they need to be replaced?

A: Where an employee already wears glasses to correct a visual defect, and routine change of lenses arises, if these glasses are also adequate for VDU work, then the employer is not liable as regards meeting the cost.

Q: What are my responsibilities as an employer?

A: An employer should communicate details about VDU health and safety to all relevant employees.

We have a team of trained and skilled investigators and consultants who have extensive experience in this area and would be happy to discuss any issue of concern with you. Just email us on info@voltedge.ie or call Ingrid on 01 5252914.