Eye with glasses

National Eye Health Week 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, around half of UK workers polled in a recent online survey said their screen time has increased due to remote working. 39% of the respondents reporting a rise in screen time observed increased difficulty in as a result.

However, in January 2021, more than 1 in 5 people said they were less likely to visit an optician than before the pandemic due to fears of catching the virus.1

National Eye Health Week — an initiative from Vision Matters which runs from September 20-26 — is the perfect time to raise awareness of this problem and encourage people to take care of their eyes and eyesight.2 The importance of good optical health cannot be understated — now more than ever.

This is especially vital now that hybrid working is more prevalent,3 making it critical for employers to acknowledge the importance of regular eye tests for their employees. This can include providing workplace schemes to ensure employees — and potentially their dependents — can maintain good optical health.

Glenn Thompson, Chief Distribution Officer at Unum UK commented:

"National Eye Health Week is an opportunity to assess the nation’s optical health. This is crucial in today’s hybrid working environment. Whilst the pandemic has deterred people from visiting opticians, booking in sight tests and general check-ups remains essential.

“Adopting a preventative approach to optical health is key. It not only helps to preserve your eyesight but can also help avoid side-effects such as blurred vision, eyestrain and headaches4 — all of which can be triggered by poor eyesight. We therefore encourage employers and their staff to take an active interest in their optical health and the support and services available.”

With hybrid working not going anywhere any time soon and employees increasingly reliant on technology both in and out of the office, this has the potential to both cause new or worsen existing optical health issues,5 making regular eye tests and check-ups incredibly important.

With this in mind, Unum’s recently extended Optical cover offers greater choice for both employers and employees, with a more comprehensive policy to boot.

The cover includes:

  • Flexible Optical cover on both an employer- and employee-funded basis
  • A multi-product discount for employers*
  • Immediate eligibility to claim for eye tests, lenses and frames
  • The freedom to visit any optician and buy frames and lenses from any provider — anywhere
  • A fully online, paperless claims management process to speed up reimbursements
  • A one-off benefit of £10,000 in the event of loss of sight as a result of an accident.

Optical Cover from Unum is provided by Unum Dental, a company with more than 30 years’ experience in the employee benefits market specialising in corporate Dental and Optical insurance. Click here to learn more.

1 https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/news-and-articles/articles/news/screen-time
2 https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/news-and-articles/articles/news/screen-time/
3 https://www.bigissue.com/news/employment/what-is-hybrid-working-is-it-the-future/
4 https://www.healthline.com/health/do-i-need-glasses#symptoms
5 https://www.uabmedicine.org/-/eye-health-in-the-digital-age-does-too-much-screen-time-hurt-your-vision-

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