ACCESS TO WORK

Well i was really hoping to have good news regarding getting help or a grant for copper mesh glasses for work. As I suffer badly with light sensitivity to my eyes, get regular bouts of scleritis, Iritis and viral eye infection brought in by UV lighting I really needed these glasses to help me stay working and not going off sick. It's not possible for changes to the lighting at the various NHS venues so these glasses would have helped me so much. I cannot afford them working part time hours. Sadly my management have refused a work place assessment as they are unable to pay anything towards anything the DWP recommends. So no glasses and carry on getting attacks which could take my eyesight. :(

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  • I' a little out of touch, but does your employer not have a duty to undertake a work place assessment under the Disability Discrimination Act and offer reasonable adjustments? My ipad is playing up, so I can't find the links, sorry.

  • Everyone is required to have a work place assessment. This covers seating and desk levels and display screens and keypads mouse etc

  • This is from the HSE website, please show to manager and safety rep:■ DSE training and assessments of workstation from CD ROM carried out by all new starters early on in induction. Any actions to be carried out asap.

    ■ Reassessment to be carried out at any change to work feature, eg equipment, furniture or the work environment such as lighting.

    ■ Workstation and equipment set to ensure good posture and to avoid glare and reflections on the screen.

    ■ Shared workstations are assessed for all users.

    ■ Work planned to include regular breaks or change of activity.

    ■ Lighting and temperature suitably controlled.

    ■ Adjustable blinds at window to control natural light on screen

    ■ Noise levels controlled.

    ■ Eye tests provided for those who need them, dutyholder to pay

    for basic spectacles specific for VDU use (or portion of cost in

    other cases).

    ■ Laptop users trained to carry out own DSE assessment for use

    away from office. When used at office, laptop should be used with docking station, screen, keyboard and mouse.

    Best wishes

    Kevin

    Trustee

  • Have you been seen by occupational health? You can usually self refer. There are really complicated rules re what financial help you can get with specs try contacting your local optician - independent not a chain - for advice. Good luck. Some stuff is free I feel prescribed in secondary care I THINK.

  • Hi Polly2Cats, I am under Occ Health at work. It's all got quite complicated for the Dr there as he said. The help I could get would be very minimal. Others here have advised they received grants for copper mesh glasses which cost £500! There's no way I can find this. The good thing is thglasses would be been used in all the venues I work as I'm not in the same place everyday. I will have to soldier in the way I have been for years sadly. Have had 2 bouts of scleritis in 6 weeks. 😢😣

  • Hi MandaM,

    Access to Work can offer cover the costs for any adjustments to help support an employee. Any employers with fewer than 50 staff will receive 100% of the approved costs from Access to Work. If your employers have 50 to 249 staff they AtW will pay the first £500 and then 80% of the approved costs up to £10,000. Employers with 250 or more staff do have to pay the first £1,000 and then AtW can pay 80% of additional approved costs up to £10,000.

    Information about the funding available from AtW can be found in our booklets about lupus and work which you can read and download at lupusuk.org.uk/working-with... or if you need physical copies sent to you, just send me a private message or email paul@lupusuk.org.uk with your name and address.

    If they are still unable to cover this cost then it may be worth looking at grants-search.turn2us.org.u... to see what grants may be available to you. You could also potentially apply to LUPUS UK for a small welfare grant towards the cost.

  • Thank you Paul for the info. As I work for a large organisation, namely the NHS, the department would have to fork out £1000. I only need half of that but on the grounds that they'd have to pay for the glasses and anything else, the ATW assessment has been refused. The ATW lady said theres nothing they can do as its not enforceable in any way. I do not claim any benefits, work 20 hours a week but my husband works full time for the NHS also. We have no spare money at all for the special glasses or even a new pair of ordinary ones. Id imagine that as we work we wouldn't get a grant no matter if we do still struggle?

  • Hi MandaM,

    I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a grant at all. It is certainly worth having a look and making enquiries. It is awful that your employer is not willing to make this investment if it will help you manage better in your role.

  • That's the NHS for you, supposedly a caring organisation! Thank you for your advice. I will try the grant route. After in excess of 25 years of sometimes horrendous scleritis attacks to both eyes in told in lucky to still have eyes at all! Scleritis can thin the sclera until they leak the eyes internal fluid. How disgusting and frightening does that sound! It's why I really feel the need to protect my sight.

  • Ask for an occupational health assessment, and if you can manage to get your rheumatologist to write to OH (OH) can approach first and request info. If these glasses are recommended because you have been diagnosed with photosensitivity, your employer has an obligation to carry out a risk assessment for you, and provide equipment to protect you from an identified risk (that's why you need medical evidence first). You should have had an assessment by OH to see if your health issues qualify you to be protected by the disability act (I have been), and you can request an OH referral for this. Good luck.

  • Hi, I'm under Occ Health and have recently been sent for a review. The doctor said there was so much being said on both sides it had all become very complicated and he didn't know what to make of it all! I've got to be very careful that I don't put myself in the position of being deemed unsuitable for the job, that I can't meet service needs. Yes I do come under the equality act. I will just have to go without the eye protection I need.

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