Employers must cover the costs of workers who need prescription glasses or contact lenses so they can work with computers, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled this week.
No Issued the verdict On December 22, 2022, the EU Judiciary responded to a question raised by the Court of Appeal of Cluj (Romania) regarding the interpretation of an article in the 1990 European Directive, which describes the minimum safety and health requirements related to work with visual equipment. – Computers, for example.
At issue is a dispute involving Romania’s General Immigration Inspector and one of its employees. The authority refused to reimburse him for the acquisition costs A pair of glasses Motivated by a “severe deterioration” of vision, he says, is caused by working on a computer.
Faced with this case, the CJEU states that Article 9 Directive 90/270/EEC“Eye and Sight Protection for Workers” provides for employer payment of expenses related to the purchase of vision aids.
“The ‘special corrective devices’ provided for in this provision include prescription glasses specifically designed to correct and prevent work-related visual impairments involving display-equipped devices. On the other hand, these ‘special corrective devices’ are not limited to devices used exclusively in the professional field”, the CJUE explained.
so, Employers There is an “obligation to provide workers with a special corrective device,” with the option to “provide directly” such glasses or contact lenses or, alternatively, to reimburse “necessary expenses incurred by the worker.” Compensation should not be awarded “by payment of public salary premium,” the court understands.
The case came before a Romanian court after a worker from the Romanian Inspectorate General of Immigration claimed his eyesight was affected by working at a computer “and other risk factors” such as lack of natural light and “constantly visible” light. Point to change prescription glasses.
The complainant alleges that the Romanian National Health Insurance Scheme did not reimburse him for a new pair of glasses (2629 Romanian leu, approximately EUR 530), which he claimed from his employer (which was denied).