Employer FAQ's

All the most common questions answered, and a few less common ones too.

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  • Who is Cyclescheme?

    Who is Cyclescheme?

    Cyclescheme is the UK’s leading provider of tax-free bikes for the Government’s Cycle to Work initiative. 
It’s a brilliant programme where everyone wins – employees make big savings on new bikes, whilst you get a healthier, more motivated workforce and enjoy significant National Insurance Contribution (NIC) savings.

    Cyclescheme works exclusively with independent bike shops to provide an expert, convenient and user-friendly service to UK employers and employees (either in-store, or online). Services to employers are provided completely free-of-charge and include secure access to a scheme management website called, MySchemes. This online account gives you access to all your paperwork, a range of free marketing tools and also access to other benefits such as Childcarescheme and Computingscheme.

    Any size of scheme is catered for and we have a well-established reputation for fast and efficient service.

    What makes Cyclescheme the leading provider?

    • Completely free of charge service to employers and their employees
    • With over 2,000 Retailers throughout the UK, we have the largest supplier network on the market
    • We only work with independent bike shops. These retailers are experts in their field and can provide expert advice to your employees when choosing a bike suitable for their commute.
    • Our Retailers provide an unrivalled customer service experience and access to over 500 bicycle brands and the widest range of accessories
    • Automation of scheme processes that minimise administration, allowing employers more time to look after their business
    • Free of charge promotional material including posters, leaflets, our ‘Cycle Commuter’ magazine, and a host of electronic communications including our monthly newsletter
    • Knowledgeable and friendly Account Management and Help Desk teams dedicated to helping employers and employees through the entire lifecycle of the scheme;
    • Peace of mind that our scheme adheres to HMRC, and Department for Transport (DfT) Cycle to Work guidelines.
  • How does Cyclescheme work?

    How does Cyclescheme work?

    You (the employer) buys the bikes and safety accessories at full retail price. The balance is then recovered from a reduction in the employees’ gross wages (salary sacrifice). Through salary sacrifice, employees can save up to 42% whilst employers benefit from worthwhile National Insurance Contribution savings of up to 13.8% too.  

    The end result? You generate savings on every bike you process through the scheme!

    Below is an illuatration of the standard process in more detail:

    Employer Process Flowchart

  • What are the savings for the employee and employer?

    What are the savings for the employee and employer?

    Typical savings for employees are between 32% for basic rate taxpayers and 42% for high rate taxpayers, but the actual amount depends on the employee’s personal tax band and the way the employer runs their scheme. If the employer uses external finance (i.e. borrows the money to buy the bikes from an outside agent) then savings will be approximately 5% lower.

    Employers can typically save 13.8% of the total value of salary sacrifice, due to reductions in Employers’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs) due.

    Below are examples of how savings are made for basic and higher rate taxpayers on bike packages over a 12-month period.

     

    This table illustrates the potential savings an employer can make by offering the scheme to its workforce.

  • What happens at the end of the Hire Period?

    What happens at the end of the Hire Period?

    At the end of the hire period the employee must make another payment to take ownership of the cycle. Without this payment HMRC would class the agreement as hire purchase (rather than hire), and as such the tax exemption would not be available.

    Managing the End of Hire process can be the most time-consuming aspect of a Cycle to Work scheme. Cyclescheme can eliminate this - free of charge.

    Cyclescheme can handle all aspects of End of Hire administration and deals directly with employees to ensure they achieve the highest level of savings, whilst also ensuring the scheme is compliant with HMRC guidance. This service is provided completely free of charge to all employers.

    The Cyclescheme process offers three simple options - extend, pay or return. With 94% of Cyclescheme participants opting to ‘extend’, it’s clear that the high level of savings offered, coupled with the incredibly simple process - it takes just a minute to complete online - strikes the perfect balance between simplicity, ease and savings. Here’s how it all works.

    Extend

    The employee make a one-off deposit (of either 3% or 7% of the bike packages’ original value) and continues to hire the bike (under an Extended Use Agreement with Cyclescheme), free of charge, for a further 36 months until its ‘market value’ is at it’s lowest (either 3% or 7%). At which point Cyclescheme can transfer ownership to the employee at no further cost.

    Pay or Return

    Alternatively, employees can pay to take ownership of the bike package straight away, by making a payment of either 18% or 25% of the bike packages’ original value. This dramatically reduces their savings, but does transfer ownership immediately to the employee. Finally, an employee can opt to return the bike to Cyclescheme if they do not wish to take ownership.

    To view a guide to Cyclescheme’s easy End of Hire process please click here

    To view and download the complete flowchart, please click here

  • What happens if an employee leaves their job or is made redundant?

    What happens if an employee leaves their job or is made redundant?

    Once signed, the Hire Agreement is non-cancellable following a cooling-off period of 14-working days following collection of the goods. This means that if an employee leaves or is made redundant from their employment during the hire period they are obliged to pay the remaining salary sacrifice amount in full from net pay i.e. without any tax exemptions.

    For example, if an employee is on a 12-month scheme, and have had 4 Salary Sacrifice repayments taken from gross salary prior to leaving employment, the remaining 8 should be taken from their final net salary.

    If applicable, the employee may then be offered ownership of the equipment in the normal way (please refer to 'What happens at the end of the hire period?' above).

    For further information please see the Department for Transport’s Cycle to Work implementation guide:

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainable/cycling/cycletoworkguidance/

  • Who can participate in the scheme?

    Who can participate in the scheme?

    Any size employer from any sector can partner with Cyclescheme.

    Employees must receive salary via the PAYE system, and earnings should be more than the National Minimum Wage after salary sacrifice to be eligible. Employers who pay staff close to the National Minimum Wage should contact Cyclescheme to discuss the range of attractive options available that allow lower paid employees to participate in the scheme. 

    It is worth noting that there is no credit check for employees wishing to participate, and Under 18s can join the scheme if their guardian signs a guarantor agreement.

  • Who actually owns the bike?

    Who actually owns the bike?

    The bike and equipment remain the property of the employer throughout the hire period, unless the employer uses a finance company to fund the bikes; in this case the finance company or funding bank will own the bikes.

  • What is the maximum certificate value employees can select through the scheme?

    What is the maximum certificate value employees can select through the scheme?

    Employers can implement Cycle to Work schemes with a maximum certificate value of £1,000 inc. VAT.

    Employers who have the appropriate Consumer Credit Authorisation can allow employees to request Certificates of a higher value. 

    If an employer wishes to increase the maximum Certificate value, they can apply for Consumer Credit Authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

    For further details on how to obtain authorisation or to determine which category is required, please click here http://www.fca.org.uk/firms/firm-types/consumer-credit/consumer-credit-interim.

  • Do you offer the Cycle to Work Scheme in the Republic of Ireland (ROI)?

    Do you offer the Cycle to Work Scheme in the Republic of Ireland (ROI)?

    Yes, we offer the same free of charge service to employers that have employees based in ROI. For further information please visit www.cyclescheme.co.uk/employers/ireland

  • Do you have an open framework agreement?

    Do you have an open framework agreement?

    Yes. Cyclescheme are approved within the MOD Open Framework Agreement. The Framework is available to all Public Authorities, runs until 31st March 2015 and is free to use. For more details and a simple guide to implimentation please click here.

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