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Can white-collar workers be provided with protective glasses in Hungary? | News Flash

July 11, 2019
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It is well known that physical workers, in particular areas, are given glasses, but unfortunately, very few people are aware of the fact that glasses can be given to office workers as well. Due to the high degree of digitization, most people use some sort of electronic device such as computers, phones or tablets. Therefore, the eyes of these workers – no matter what kind of work they carry out exactly – are subject to constant damage.

What are the requirements on providing protective glasses in Hungary to office workers?

Glasses for office workers are controlled by the Decree No. 50 of 1999 (November 3) of the Minister/Secretary of Health, which states that workers who use a display device regularly for at least 4 hours a day from their working hours, shall be entitled to the usage of glasses while being in front of the screen.

Pursuant to Section 54 of the Civil Law, the employer is obliged to assess health risks.

Thus, based on the above-mentioned Decree and law, employees are entitled to receive glasses.

What is the obligation of the employer?

Pursuant to Article (5) of the Decree, the employer is obliged to provide medical examination to the employees employed in the mentioned types of jobs.

If, on the basis of the medical examination, the doctor determines that the use of glasses or contact lenses is necessary, or if the glasses or lenses currently used by the worker are no longer appropriate for the work in front of the screen, the employer shall provide the employee with the minimum necessary glasses for work.

Pursuant to Section 56 of the Occupational Safety Act, the employer shall determine the internal procedure of granting the personal protective equipment in a written form.

Employers who, in compliance with the provisions of the Decree of Minister/Secretary of Health and the Act on the Labour Market, reimburse their employees for the costs – the amount of the benefit and the procedure – determine their obligations in their own regulation. Thus, both employee and employer regulations are properly regulated.

We wish to emphasize the obligatory word formulated in the regulation, because unfortunately, many employers still do not know about the obligations imposed by the regulation mentioned before in practice, or they do know but do not comply with it.

We would like to draw the attention of employers to the fact that non-compliance with the regulations has legal consequences.

What are the costs for the employer and the employee?

Pursuant to Section 8.8 of the Personal Income Tax Act Section 1 on tax-exempt income, „the protection provided by the law and the accident and health protection tools may be exempted from tax”. Thus, if the employer provides glasses to its employees as stipulated in the Decree of Minister/Secretary of Health, it can be given tax-free.

However, according to the provisions of the Decree of Minister/Secretary of Health, the costs arising from the implementation of the provision cannot be enforced against the employee.

Furthermore, the provision no longer regulates the amount of costs incurred. Since there is no customized and tied price in the current market situation, there is no exact amount for either the glasses or the lenses. Therefore, the amount is determined in the regulations of the employer.

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