Employer’s reimbursement of eyeglasses

According to the Government Decision No.1028/2006 we learn that any employee in Romania has the right to benefit from eyeglasses if they work in front of screens under certain conditions.

Employees must have a proper eye and eyesight examination, performed by a person who has the necessary competence:

  • before starting work at the viewing screen, by medical examination on recruitment;
  • thereafter at regular intervals;
  • whenever any visual disturbances occur which may be caused by work at the display screen.

They are also entitled to an ophthalmologic examination if the results of the above examination show that this is necessary.

If the results of the examinations show that it is necessary and if normal corrective devices cannot be used, workers must be provided with special corrective devices appropriate to the activity in question.

Therefore, every time, following an ophthalmologic check-up performed by a specialist doctor, it is discovered that the eyesight has been impaired (higher diopters, other ophthalmologic conditions that have appeared since the last check-up, the appearance of eye defects or diseases, etc.), the employer can be asked to pay for a pair of glasses.

The ophthalmological examination and the cost of the frames, lenses and the labor costs of the glasses – may be charged to the employer. The limitations in this situation are the procedural ones, discussed below.

Not all employees can claim these eyewear expenses, but only employees who habitually/predominantly use a viewing screen equipment for a significant portion of their normal working time.

The provision also applies to students, pupils during their practical training, apprentices and other participants in the work process, except for persons performing domestic work.

Therefore, it is mandatory for the employer to keep a record of all jobs where the activity involves work using visualization screens and to have risk factor identification sheets for these jobs.

The employer must therefore first have the risk assessment and risk prevention plan. Then, secondly, if at the occupational health check-up it is found that the employee might have a problem with his eyesight, he will send him to the ophthalmologist, and thirdly, if the ophthalmologist considers that it is necessary to wear glasses, then we can conclude that the employer is obliged to pay for the glasses.

It should be noted that, according to the CJUE decision, it is not necessary to establish a causal link between the ophthalmologic problems and the work itself. Therefore, even if the employee had ophthalmologic problems also prior to employment/exposure to the viewing screens at the employer, in the situation where the employee has to wear glasses on the recommendation of the ophthalmologist, the employer is obliged to bear the cost of the glasses.

If it is decided to reimburse the cost of eyeglasses for employees who have been affected as a result of their work, the amount will be deductible and will not represent a benefit in kind.