Eye Test Policy

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)

A number of employees at St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council use display screen equipment (DSE).

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 allow new or existing users of DSE to request an eye and eyesight test by a qualified Ophthalmic Optician at the expense of the employer.

An employer is also required to provide further eye and eyesight tests on request at reasonably regular intervals to any employee defined as a ‘user’ under the above Regulations.

If any test shows that special glasses (other than those normally worn by the user) are required for use with DSE, then the employer must provide them.

DSE work does not cause permanent damage to eyes. But long spells of DSE work can lead to:

  • tired eyes
  • discomfort
  • temporary short-sightedness
  • headaches

DSE work is visually demanding, so it can make someone aware of eyesight problems they have not noticed before (including changes in eyesight that happen with age).

Employees can help their eyes by:

  • checking the screen is well positioned and properly adjusted
  • making sure lighting conditions are suitable
  • taking regular breaks from screen work

An annual DSE workstation assessment will be carried out and any steps to reduce any health risks will be undertaken.

To control the cost and manner in which St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council complies with this Regulation requirements, the following procedure has been implemented –

  • Eligibility
    • Employees wishing to establish whether they are entitled to an eye and eyesight test should first discuss the matter with their Line Manager to ascertain whether they meet the criteria set out in the Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations.
  • Sight Tests
    • Employees who are classed as DSE users or will soon become DSE users in their role should book an eye and eyesight test with a reputable optician and obtain a receipt for the cost of the test. Eye tests should take place outside of an employee’s working hours. If an eye test is scheduled for during an employee’s working hours, employees must agree this in advance with their Line Manager.
  • Glasses/Contact Lenses
    • Employees may also claim up to £50 towards the cost of corrective glasses, provided the eye test shows that the employee needs special glasses prescribed for the distance the screen is viewed at. Employees must obtain a certificate from the optician stating that the prescription is for DSE work only and submit this along with a receipt for the glasses with their expenses claim at month end. Claims without a receipt and/or certificate will not be paid.
    • If an ordinary prescription is suitable, or the prescription is for general use and not specifically for DSE work, employees will not be reimbursed for the cost of glasses. Corrective contact lenses are not covered by this policy.
  • Reimbursement of Fees
    • Employees will be reimbursed for the cost of the eye test up to £25 by submitting an expense claim form by month end, accompanied by the eye test receipt. Claims without a receipt will not be paid.

It is recommended that eye and eyesight tests are conducted every two years. If an employee who is a DSE user requires eye tests more frequently, this must be authorised by the Line Manager in advance of submitting a claim.

Any queries should be referred to the Clerk prior to making any appointments.

[1] Adopted by Full Council at the meeting held on Wednesday 2nd August 2023 under minute number FPC205/23. Due for review in August 2026.