Common misconceptions of eyecare schemes
Today marks the end of the second annual Eye Health Week, hosted by Vision Matters. Over the week we’ve looked at various aspects of employee eyecare and to finish, I would like to cover some of the common myths around voucher schemes.
They are only for large companies
Not true. Regardless of the size of an organisation, an employers’ obligation and the need to reduce the impact of the VDU will remain the same. Whether you employee 2 or 2,000 people, you need to make sure you meet compliance issues.
Money on unused vouchers will be lost
In an ideal situation all vouchers will be used, but we are aware of the difficulties of reaching that sought-after 100% take up rate. Most voucher companies will accept unused vouchers back once they have expired.
You won’t get help promoting the scheme
This certainly isn’t true for Edenred. We will provide posters, wallets, payslips inserts and will volunteer staff to come to any open days to help promote this benefit.
It’s just another layer of administration
Actually, it has the opposite effect. A voucher scheme will reduce the administrative burden for both employers and employees. As we mentioned in our article yesterday (Launching and communicating an eye care voucher scheme), having an eyecare voucher system creates a lot less administration for companies than claiming back the cost of eye tests through expenses.
Many organisations also use invoicing by local opticians. This once again can be very costly as raising payments every time someone has a sight test can easily be avoided by finding a solution where you can pay for the tests in one go and then send people to opticians without ongoing financial administration involved in this simple process.
It’s better to have a single deal with opticians
Doing this would involve developing a direct relationship with a local optician or large chain of opticians. As such there are no upfront costs to employees, but they are restricted to using the specified eyecare provider. This could reduce the uptake as employees stick with their current providers or minimise regular eye checkups if the selected provider isn’t local.
The cheapest deal is the best deal
This isn’t always true – it should be about what represents good value for both the organisation and the employees. So a particular deal might be a bargain to the organisation, but it might not offer good value for the employees, such as choice and flexibility, which means they will be less likely to make use of it.
Limiting choice to a single optician can also have a very negative effect on your staff as they feel forced to move away from a trusted optician they may have used for many years. Providing sight tests for staff is an important part of a benefits package and is viewed by staff as such despite it being a compliance scheme, it is important not to devalue this benefit.
For more information on eyecare vouchers schemes take a look at our Developing a Company Eyecare Policy Whitepaper.
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