Optical Benefits for Employees in Singapore – Business Owner Should Know
Optical benefits relate to benefits that help to improve vision care and typically cover routine eye examinations, optical care subsidies, and discounts for buying corrective eyewear. While there is no benchmark for the level of optical benefits provided to employees, they generally agreed that vision care has become very important over the past decades due to an increase of computer usage and hence highs risks of digital eye strain.
Is it Mandatory to Provide Optical Benefits in Singapore?
Despite the importance of vision care in today’s modern society, it is not a legal requirement for employers to provide optical benefits in many countries – including Singapore. The Singapore Employment Act does not make it mandatory for employers to provide. Although it is a common practice for private companies in Singapore to provide medical health insurance, this might not cover it.
The Importance of Optical Benefits
A study conducted by HCMS Group, an American human capital risk management firm, found that for every dollar invested in a comprehensive eye exam, employers saw a $1.45 return on investment through lower health care costs, improved employee productivity, and lower turnover rates.
This translated to an estimated savings of USD $96,000 over four years per 1000 employees due to the annual eye exams being able to detect early signs of chronic diseases. This is because eye exams provide a non-invasive view of blood vessels and the optic nerve, hence being able to detect early signs of chronic diseases.
In fact, they estimated that eye doctors were the first to identify signs of diabetes 34 percent of the time, high blood pressure 39 percent of the time, and high cholesterol 62 percent of the time in patients.
Optical benefits are therefore not only medically beneficial for employees, but they can also help employers save costs on health insurance and benefit from better work performance.
These Are In Demand
Surveys have shown that employees prefer to have it included in their employee benefits scheme. Organizations that offer it will thus stand out from others and can demonstrate that they truly listen and care about the health and well-being of their employees.
An example would be Dell’s Singapore office which is one of the few that offer these in the form of optical care reimbursement. Dell employees can save up to hundreds of dollars every year on glasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution.
There are even companies that have optical benefit policies that have responded to employee preferences by subsidizing laser corrective surgery and other optical improvement procedures.
This trend is expected to continue as employees become even more tech-savvy and reliant on computers, hence requiring proper vision care from optical benefits.