These changes are designed to improve employee comfort. Employers should prepare for new obligations that may impact employment costs.
Contractual employees whose professional duties are performed in front of a computer screen are likely aware that their employer is required to reimburse them for a portion of the cost of doctor-recommended eyeglasses. From 17 November this commitment will be extended.
Compensation for glasses and contact lenses
In accordance with the latest changes to the Labor Code, new opportunities will be provided to workers who perform their duties behind computer screens. We are talking not only about subsidies, but also about new job standards.
The amendment to the rules, which will come into force on November 17, is intended, according to the government, to improve working comfort and adapt Polish rules to technological developments. The law finally recognized, among other things, people who use contact lenses instead of glasses on a daily basis. Since 1990, the law has included the possibility of applying for a subsidy from the employer when replacing glasses. Now, 33 years later, this rule will be extended to contact lenses.
This is interesting because buying glasses is usually a one-time deal over several years. Contact lenses are purchased much more often. So this may add a bit more procedure unless the employer and employee agree to, for example, settle once a year.
However, contact lens subsidies aren’t everything. The changes are much broader and affect not only employees with visual impairments. From November 17 (and in fact, a maximum of six months from the date of introduction of the standards), employers will also have to adapt workplaces for people performing work duties using computers.
The amendment to the rules includes the obligation to provide the employee with a stationary monitor or a stand that allows the laptop monitor to be positioned so that the top edge of its screen is at the employee’s eye level. The workstation must also have an additional keyboard and mouse.
“The equipment of the workplace and the method of arrangement of elements of this equipment should not cause excessive stress on the musculoskeletal system and (or) vision during work and cannot be a source of danger for the employee” – we read in the appendix to the resolution of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy.
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