Adding a Cycle to Work scheme to your company’s benefits package will earn you a healthier, happier and more motivated workforce that’s ready to work hard every day, even on a Monday morning.
What is the Cycle to Work scheme?
A Cycle to Work scheme entitles employees to spend up to £1,000 on a bike as well as related safety equipment, tax-free, delivering potential savings of up to 42% for each employee.
Introduced in 1999, the government’s Cycle to Work scheme has been encouraging more and more people across the UK to ditch the car in favour of cycling to work. Whether you run a public, private or third sector company you can add to your existing benefits package by offering a Cycle to Work initiative.
How does the scheme work?
After the employer joins one of the many Cycle to Work schemes available, the employee lists the equipment they’d like to purchase from a participating store, costing no more than £1,000. The employer then purchases the equipment, providing the employer with a voucher to take to the store or to order online.
Once purchased, the cost to the employee is spread over 12 months and taken from the gross monthly salary, before tax and National Insurance.
Benefits of Cycle to Work
Employers and employees alike can benefit from a Cycle to Work scheme in many ways.
Benefits to Employees
- Physical health: If their job involves a lot of sitting at a desk or driving a work van getting your employees active on their commute to and from the office will be great for their wellbeing. Cycling has proven to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
- Mental health: Not only can cycling improve physical health but mental health too. Exercise reduces cortisol levels, otherwise known as the ‘stress hormone’, while releasing endorphins to help increase happiness and lower anxiety.
- Environmentally friendly: By encouraging your employees to cycle into the office that means there are less cars on the road – reducing their personal carbon footprint and your company’s too.
Benefits to the Employer
Any scheme that benefits your employees is great for your business as a happy and healthy staff means a motivated workforce.
- Increase happiness, fitness and overall morale of employees.
- Makes your company more attractive to potential employees.
- Retain staff with an appealing benefits package.
- Save on National Insurance contributions.
- Employees cycling to work have on average 2.1 less sick days each year
And if one of your employees goes on to win the Tour de France, your company will get some great exposure as the place it all began for them.
Cycle to Work savings
An employee with a standard tax rate that spends their full £1,000 allocation would stand to save a total of £320 thanks to 12 months of tax-free payments.
|Type of payments and savingss||Total amount|
|Monthly salary sacrifice||£83.33|
|Total payment from £1,000 voucher||£680|
This amount could vary depending on the Cycle to Work scheme that the company signs up for and the tax bracket of the employee.
While the savings to the employee are there for anyone to see, there are also savings to be made by the employers thanks to lower National Insurance Contributions and potential sick pay savings. The following table shows the possible savings for your business based on only 3 employees joining the scheme and spending an average of £800 each.
|Type of saving||Potential saving|
|National Insurance contribution||£110.40|
|Sick pay saved||£541.80|
|Savings for employees||£336|
|Annual carbon footprint reduction||45 tons|
What can employees spend the voucher on?
Employees will have up to £1,000 to spend on a bike and necessary accessories that will aid their journey to and from work. In fact, if an employee already has a bike they’re happy with but requires a new helmet, for example, a Cycle to Work voucher can be used.
However, a full face helmet you see the pros wearing when they’re racing around the velodrome isn’t seen as essential for getting to work.
The government provide a list of equipment that can be purchased under a Cycle to Work scheme and, along with a bike, it includes:
- Cycle clips and dress guards
- Luggage carriers
- Child seats
- Pumps, puncture repair kits, cycle tool kits and tyre sealant
- Reflective clothing and reflectors
It’s even possible for an employee to purchase 2 bikes under the scheme should they need one either side of a train journey, for example. They will still need to stay within the £1,000 limit.
Cycle to Work Schemes
There are several different Cycle to Work schemes that your company could join. They all offer the same incentive but retailers might only accept vouchers through certain schemes. Some of the schemes include:
- Cycle Plus
You should look into which scheme will work out best for your employees by finding out where the vouchers can be spent. A choice of stores fairly close to the office could make buying and collecting the equipment much easier for employees.
Where can the voucher be spent?
Many large UK cycling retailers are signed up to the scheme. Where employees can spend their voucher will ultimately depend on which Cycle to Work provider the retailer accepts vouchers from:
- Evans Cycles: Ride to Work (retailer’s own scheme), CycleScheme, Bike2Work Scheme, Cycle Plus, Vivup.
- Halford’s: Cycle2Work (retailer’s own scheme).
- Wiggle: Wiggle Cycle to Work (retailer’s own scheme), CycleScheme, Bike2Work Scheme, Cycle Plus and Gemelli.
- In addition to these chains, you’ll find that many local, independent bike shops also accept vouchers provided through Cycle to Work schemes.
Boiler Guide and Bike 2 Work
In 2018, Boiler Guide joined the Bike 2 Work scheme, offering all employees the opportunity to buy a tax-free bike and start cycling to and from work.
Now we have a motivated team working hard to generate leads each and every day. As well as a room in the office that looks like a bike shop.