Public sector organisations vastly over-paying for obligatory eyecare amid spending cuts

Following the spending review, public sector employers are going to be forced to cut their outgoings.  With the expected job losses and tighter budgets, employers will need to cut costs wherever possible.  Specsavers Corporate Eyecare is advising employers on how to cut their costs during these difficult times. 

Its on-the-ground research, announced today, shows that public sector organisations could be collectively overspending up to £127 million on obligatory eyecare for their staff.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations require employers to provide all employees who use visual display units (VDUs), with eye tests, when requested, and glasses, if required.

Specsavers has discovered that poor procurement decisions are resulting in public sector organisations typically spending between £50 and £80 per employee, and some as much as £200. This service can in fact be provided for as little as £17 per employee.  With virtually all jobs now entailing some use of visual display units, multiplied by the 6.051million people employed in the public sector, this could result in a massive overspend in the region of £127million.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ‘Cutting unnecessary costs right now is top of the agenda for the public sector.  All employers need to meet their regulatory requirements but they should not overpay to do so.  Procurement in the public sector is playing a central role right now, and we want to help employers save wherever they can.’

While the overspending represents a huge figure for the public sector as a whole, a relatively small public sector organisation, employing just 1,000 people, could still be paying more than £21,000 over the odds, just by not choosing their eyecare provider carefully. It is vital for public sector organisations to realise that there are cost-effective solutions to the eyecare regulations. Schemes like eyecare vouchers, directed solely at covering the VDU regulations in one package, can often work out to save significantly in money, time and effort spent by each public sector organisation.


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