People with vision impairment are less likely to gain employment and more likely to have low paid work.
In 2018, the global annual productivity loss was US$411 billion. The full cost is most likely much higher.
In addition, there are numerous studies from around the world that prove that when businesses address eyesight and eye health issues they can see a productivity boost of 20-30%.
More employers should be ensuring work environments protect eye health – from providing eye screenings and employee education schemes through to prevention measures including sufficient light and access to sunlight and regular time away from screens.
It’s also crucial that we convince business and industry leaders that providing eye care services to employees is not just a safety and wellbeing issue but will also unlock high productivity.
The 2030 Agenda sees the private sector as a key ally and calls on all businesses to support the agenda and apply their creativity and innovation to solve sustainable development challenges.
Persuading employers to provide eye screenings and glasses will require us to work with a range of private sector partners that we have never worked with before. This will include convincing trade unions and employee advocate groups to raise awareness and create demand.
In parallel, we have to advocate for the strengthening of global frameworks on workplace health and safety through the International Labour Organization and convince governments to include eye screening and protection of eye health within national workplace health and safety policies.