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OF EYECARE The Scottish Prison Service has gone electronic when it comes to employee eyecare benefits. Qualifying employees can now access eVouchers for their VDU and safety eyewear through an electronic system provided by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

HR personnel at all 14 Scottish Prison Service sites have instant access to Specsavers’ eVoucher system, which enables them to procure, distribute and manage eyecare provision online.

A representative from the Scottish Prison Service, said: “Our HR managers are now able to handle eyecare extremely quickly and


FROM WORK Stress and mental ill health are the main causes of mid and long- term absence for UK employers, according to new research by group risk industry trade body, Group Risk Development (GRiD).


WHIPSNADE ZOO A senior zookeeper suffered serious injuries at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, after he was attacked by a rhino.


efficiently online. They can allocate eVouchers to employees as and when necessary and the employee simply needs to print the voucher to take to their local Specsavers store, or they can even just present it on their smart phone or mobile device. The eVoucher system makes the management of eyecare simple and consistent across all our sites. We also appreciate the fact that we have a single point of contact who is local, so able to pop in and see us if ever the need arises.”

The Scottish Prison Service uses Specsavers’ eVouchers for VDU eyecare for staff who use computer screens and for safety eyewear for those involved in work that is more physical. Those employees requiring eyecare are given a full eye examination, which can not only detect visual disturbances and problems with eye health, but also much wider health conditions like diabetes, risk of stroke and heart conditions.

Almost half of employers surveyed (48%) said this is a main cause of long-term absence within their organisation, with 41% saying it is a main cause of mid-term absence and 19% for short-term.

The findings highlight the impact that stress and mental ill health have on businesses. Mental illness is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, costing the economy between £70 billion and £100 billion per year.

Encouragingly, the survey also found that employers appear to be taking

The man, who is in his 50s, was head-butted and stamped-on by the 30-stone Asian rhino. He was found by colleagues in the water used by the rhinos for bathing with injuries to his chest, abdomen and pelvis.

The keeper was treated at the scene before being taken by ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. A spokesperson for Magpas air ambulance said that he is now in a serious but stable condition

active steps to reduce the impact of stress in their business. More than one in three (35%) said that maintaining a good work-life balance was their top health and wellbeing priority.

The research also found that 10% of employers now have line managers trained to spot signs of stress and mental health conditions, an early intervention strategy which can help manage the issue and support staff. Additionally, flexible working is the top measure that 32% of employers have put in place to reduce absence and manage attendance.

and his injuries are thought not to be life-threatening.

Reports suggest that the man was in the rhino house to feed the animals when he was attacked by the four-year-old male.

The details of exactly what happened are now being investigated by officials at the Zoological Society of London, which runs the zoo. Central Bedfordshire Council, which licenses the facility, and the Health and Safety Executive are also investigating.

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