Westfield Health has launched a campaign to help keep drivers’ eyes on the road. It is raising awareness of new EU legislation due to come in this year, which will mean employees who drive for work will have to have their eyes tested regularly in order to keep their licence.
At present, there is no legal obligation for employers to make sure their drivers comply with minimum sight requirements. Once a driver has passed the mandatory driving test sight assessment, they are not required to prove the fitness of their eyesight again during their working lives.
The current proposal is that holders of commercial licences (category C & D vehicles) will have to have their eyes tested every five years and holders of private licences (motorbikes, cars and most vans) every 10-15 years. Each member state has until 2013 to translate the directive into national law.
Jill Davies of Westfield Health says: “Employers will no doubt be questioning who will fund the sight tests – the company or the driver? Practically speaking, it doesn’t really matter who pays, as long as the requirements are met. But as eye tests become a mandatory job requirement for drivers and an essential part of operating a business in compliance with health and safety regulations, many employees will be expecting their employer to fund the cost. For a relatively small investment, a corporate-paid health cash plan can help a company ensure its drivers meet the necessary requirements, whilst avoiding incurring additional paperwork internally. Employees get the benefit of having access to good eyecare and other healthcare benefits – without the cost. And employers get the peace of mind that they are taking every step to ensure the new legislation is being met.”