Research reveals costly approach to eyecare

Research conducted by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare reveals how many companies and organisations are paying over the odds and still failing to fully benefit from corporate eyecare provision.

The research took place among 223 heads of organisations, in both public and private sectors. It shows that, contrary to health and safety regulations, a staggering one-fifth (20%) of employers have no eyecare policy in place at all; an omission that could leave them open to extensive penalty. Beyond this are the significant cost-saving and value-adding opportunities that are being overlooked.

The often higher-priced option of reimbursing through expenses is still used by 42% of employers. Although a shrewd one-third (33%) of employers do purchase eyecare vouchers, they are not necessarily enjoying the full advantages. Some 60% are not aware of any of the additional benefits available with eyecare vouchers. Only 29% are aware of discount vouchers for money off glasses for employees and just 5% are aware of discounts for employees’ families. A tiny 4% are aware of two-for-one offers and no-one was aware of free upgrades, such as designer frames or reactions lenses.

Almost half (47%) of respondents believe these additional benefits have a monetary value of less than £30 and 81% believe it is less than £60. In fact, the worth of additional free goods and services may be up to £82 per employee from some corporate eyecare suppliers.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ‘Our research shows that a greater knowledge of corporate eyecare could result in more affordable, administratively-simpler options and the ability to offer employees increased, tangible benefits.’

Once made aware of the additional benefits available with corporate eyecare, employers could immediately see the worth they would have for staff. Over three-quarters (77%) believe that discount vouchers for money off glasses for employees would be or are of value to their staff. Despite this, 62% did not know what additional benefits they currently receive from their eyecare provider.

When considering aspects of service from an eyecare provider, three-quarters (75%) stated that being a one-stop-shop, from eyetest through to dispensing glasses, was the most important. Perhaps surprisingly in the current economic climate, only 18% of respondents see cost as being of the utmost importance when choosing an eyecare provider.

With visual display units of some kind or another now in use in virtually every working role, the Display Screen Equipment regulations make company-funded employee eyecare obligatory for practically all staff. Seeking the best provider, so that cost-savings and added benefits are received, can turn this obligation into a rewarding opportunity for employees and businesses alike.

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