Cycling to work
The Cycling to Work programme is a Government initiative, created to get more people riding bicycles to work. Helping the environment, improving health and wellbeing and saving money in the process.
The Association of Cycle Traders estimate that c.200,000 UK employees commenced cycling to work in 2011 thanks to the Government initiative.
The cycling to work programme offers employees the opportunity to hire a bicycle and necessary safety equipment from their employer achieving significant savings off the usual purchase price.
How the programme works
- The employer enters into an arrangement with a facilitator or individual retailer to supply bicycles and safety equipment to their employees.
- The employer sets the parameters of the programme with regards to the employees to be offered the programme, the maximum purchase value (up to £1000) and the time window of the programme, along with the financing arrangements for the cycling equipment.
- The employee receives a secure, personalised payment card or voucher
- The employee visits one of the national network of specialist retailers and chooses the bike and safety equipment they wish to hire and the retailer validates the voucher at point of sale.
- The employee notifies the employer to commence salary sacrifice deductions agreed with the employee for the period of the hire agreement, usually 12 months.
- The cost of hiring the equipment is deducted via the employee's salary prior to tax deductions, thereby enabling the employee to save the tax and national insurance on the hire amount.
At the end of the hire period
For the full term of the programme the bicycle is hired to the employee by the employer.
At the end of the hire period the bicycle may be offered to the employee for purchase at a pre-agreed contract value in line with HMRC guidelines.
All facilitators work to the same Government guidelines, but each operates slightly differently.
The cycling to work programme enables the employee to get a better bike for their money as well as spread the cost without credit checks or paying any interest.
Employers benefit from staff who are healthier, happier, punctual and more alert. Employers also benefit financially through employers national insurance savings, providing funds for potential investment in facilities for cyclists within the business.
Which shops participate?
A large number of specialist retailers throughout the UK can deliver the cycling to work programme, but due to the administration costs charged by some facilitators, some products and promotional offers may not be available via the programme.
Some national, corporate retailers do offer a cycling to work programme, but their product and service offering is generally limited and formulaic. You can't beat the width of choice and depth of service provided by independent specialists.
Setting up a Cycle to Work scheme
In order to participate in a cycling to work programmme your employer needs to engage with a facilitator or they can create their own scheme according to DFT Guidelines using a local bicycle shop of their choosing.