Cycle to Work Day, the UK's biggest cycle commuting event, takes place on August 5th.
With people returning to the workplace, in some cases for the first time post-COVID, and possibly wanting to avoid public transport, it’s the perfect time to encourage your employees to get active and stay safe with the Cycle to Work scheme.
Here’s our guide to Cycle to Work schemes, why your business should implement one and the benefits they can offer.
First of all, what exactly is the Cycle to Work scheme?
It’s when an employee agrees to exchange part of their salary for a non-cash benefit, in this instance a bicycle, before tax and National Insurance is applied. It was introduced to promote a healthier way of living, while having the added benefit of reducing pollution levels and CO2 emissions.
What are the benefits?
Organisations can save 13.8% of the total value of salary sacrifice because of reductions in the amount of National Insurance Contributions due.
Fitter, healthier staff means improved productivity
It supports the physical health of employees, which in turn can reduce costs associated with sickness and absence, while increasing productivity and output.
As well as improving physical health, cycling has a positive effect on emotional health, improving levels of wellbeing, self-confidence and stress tolerance to stress.
Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average citizen's carbon emissions from transport by 67%, according to research led by University of Oxford transport professor Christian Brand.
Great for employer branding and employee welfare
Cycle to Work is good for employer branding and may help to boost your appeal to potential new hires. This is because it demonstrates concern for the welfare of an organisation’s employees, while contributing to a business’s CSR stance by promoting an environmentally friendly form of transport.
A cycle scheme, like many other benefits and perks, can act as a reason why people might postpone seeking out a new role.
Low cost implementation
Local authorities, which are allocated budgets to promote cycling, might provide bike sheds free of charge or at reduced cost.
The cost of cycling equipment can be treated as capital expenditure and therefore employers can claim capital allowances against it.
Cost savings for employees
Employees save 25 to 39% on the cost of a bike and accessories and can also spread the payments over time.
Who can join in?
Any employer, of any size, across the public, private and voluntary sectors can run a Cycle to Work scheme. However, the tax and National Insurance benefits apply only to staff who are treated as employees.
Is my business eligible?
The scheme is available as long as the recipient receives a salary through the PAYE system. This covers directors of limited companies, even if you’re the sole employee, and provided that a portion of your income is in the form of PAYE and is enough to meet the national minimum wage after deductions.
How do entice my employees?
Promoting a Cycle to Work scheme should hopefully inspire your team to get moving, even if it’s getting off the bus one stop earlier, it’s the small steps that count.
To encourage your team, you could:
Provide personal storage, such as small lockers
Consider installing a shower and changing facilities so that people can freshen up after their journey
Provide a hanging rail or wardrobe-style cupboard
Explore corporate rate gym memberships for staff members as an added bonus
Offer flexible working times to avoid peak hours and ensure increased road safety
If you would like to discuss this, or any of the topics covered in our articles, please get in touch.