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What costs must an employer reimburse?

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Should an employer reimburse prescription screen glasses?

Screen work is indispensable and unavoidable in many professions. This can lead to all kinds of unpleasant health problems, such as pain in the arms, neck and shoulders or eye complaints. Because the eyelids hardly blink during intensive screen work, the eyeball becomes too dry and eye fatigue can occur. It is important for the employer to act and intervene on time when eye complaints occur, and to determine the arrangement for the reimbursement of screen glasses. This is to prevent aggravation of the complaints or the occurrance of the complaints. Because that is something we want to avoid, right?

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What does the Health and Safety Act say about prescription screen glasses?

Under the Working Conditions Act, every employer is obliged to ensure that employees can do their work safely. So screen work should not endanger anyone's health and safety. In order to protect employees, a number of rules have been established: prior to screen work or when eye complaints arise, employers must offer their employees the opportunity to undergo an eye examination. When is it established that screen glasses can help against the complaints, the employer is obliged to reimburse the costs of the screen glasses. Employees who need reading glasses and perform screen work are by default entitled to screen glasses reimbursed by their employer.

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Are screen glasses tax deductible?

Yes, this is possible, but under certain conditions. This is because a health and safety provision is always covered by The Expense Allowance Scheme (EAS).

The Expense Allowance Scheme allows employers to give untaxed allowances to their employees. In that case, the occupational health and safety provision must meet the conditions.

As of January 1, 2022, the targeted exemption for health and safety provisions has been amended, clarifying that only provisions that are directly related to the employer's obligations are exempt.

Conditions for targeted exemption

  • The provisions derive directly from the Working Conditions Act. These are the provisions that ensure the safety and health of the employee.
  • You don't charge any costs to the employee. In other words, the employee may not pay a personal contribution for the provisions.
  • The employee uses or consumes the provisions at the (home) workplace (in whole or in part), or at a place where you implement the Working Conditions Act.
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What about a personal contribution?

If your employee wants a more luxurious, equally safe, version of the same facility or an upgrade of a health and safety facility (a more expensive frame for screen glasses), then this is possible, but the targeted exemption does not apply to the additional costs involved. For these additional costs or a non-compulsory occupational health and safety provision, you can request a contribution from the employee. You deduct this contribution from the net salary. Instead, you can opt to designate the additional costs or non-compulsory health and safety provision as a final taxable benefit and charge it to the tax-free allowance, subject to the customary use criterion. The provision will then remain untaxed for your employee. You can also make use of a cafeteria scheme for the additional costs or the non-compulsory health and safety provision (see section 4.15 of the Payroll Tax Handbook 2021)

Source: Payroll Tax Manual 2021 edition October 2021 article 22.1.9, Payroll Tax Newsletter 2022

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We have been working with Seeh for some time and are very happy with the products and service. The online system works very well and if something goes wrong, it is immediately solved to your satisfaction.

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The cooperation with Seeh is very pleasant. Fast communication, easy system for the order forms and always willing to think along with specific questions from the hospital.

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Seeh offers our people a choice of trendy safety glasses. No extra appointment at the ophthalmologist is needed because the Hans Anders opticians can measure the prescription in the store itself.

Mirjam Timmer
HR Manager

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Seeh offers our people a choice of trendy safety glasses. No extra appointment at the ophthalmologist is needed because the Hans Anders opticians can measure the prescription in the store itself.

Suzan Dubbelman, HR Advisor
Makita Nederland