Signing up to Cyclescheme and supporting cycle commuting is great news for your staff, and there are big benefits for employers too.
1. You pay less money to HMRC
Cyclescheme is a salary sacrifice scheme. Employees who use it to get a bike and/or equipment save 25-39% on the RRP. That’s because the value of the Cyclescheme package is deducted from the employee’s gross salary, so there are no deductions for Income Tax or National Insurance on each repayment amount.
The salary sacrifice amount doesn’t incur Employer National Insurance Contributions either. For example, if an employee uses Cyclescheme to obtain a bike worth £1,000, you’ll save £138! That’s a 13.8% saving you’d usually be responsible for paying.
Signing up to Cyclescheme as an employer is free and can be done in 10 minutes online.
2. Cycling staff are healthier…
Regular cycling halves the number of sick days taken by staff, according to research by Sustrans. The average UK worker misses 4.5 days a year due to illness; the average cyclist just 2.4.
Sick days cost businesses more than £100 per absent employee, per day, assuming average wages. So every extra cyclist among your staff saves you more than £200 per year in reduced sick pay alone!
3. …and happier and more productive
Cycling to work makes staff happier and more productive. Cyclists arrive at work more motivated and don’t seem to suffer the same dips in energy level as more sedentary employees. When GlaxoSmithKline surveyed staff who had obtained a bike through Cyclescheme, 73% said they were more motivated and 74% thought they were more productive.
4. Cycle commuters are more punctual
As well as being more energised when they get to work, cyclists are more likely than other transport users to arrive on time. Cyclists’ journeys are predictable because they’re much less influenced by factors outside their control, such as traffic jams or delayed trains. Urban commuter races invariably see cyclists trouncing drivers, public transport users, and pedestrians. The punctuality evidence isn’t just anecdotal: a study by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, confirmed it.
5. Cycle parking is cheaper than car parking
Providing car parking spaces for staff is expensive, particularly in places where property prices are high. It’s estimated that in West London a car parking spot will cost around £2,000 per year. Since it’s possible to park up to a dozen bicycles in the same space – or more if they’re compact folding bikes – there are big savings to be made when staff switch from cars to bikes for commuting
6. Facilities for cyclists benefit other employees
Cycling doesn’t have to mean working up a sweat. But for those cyclists travelling further or faster, shower facilities, along with lockers and maybe even a drying room, are really helpful. Non-cycling staff benefit too, as they can freshen up after a lunchtime run or gym session.
7. The mileage rate for cycling is lower than for driving
The tax-free mileage rate that employees can claim for using their car on business is 45 pence per mile (for the first 10,000 miles). The rate for cycling is 20p per mile. These rates apply for employees who travel during the course of their work; they’re not paid for commuting. But if you do have staff travelling between different sites or needing to be out and about, it’s much more economical if they go by bike. A cyclist’s travel expenses will cost you less than half as much as a driver’s.
If you are going to encourage staff to use a bike for business though, make sure you’ve read up on your responsibilities as an employer.
8. Company bikes cost less than company cars
Despite the tax breaks available for company cars, company bikes cost a fraction as much. Why not invest in a pool of bikes for employees to use? A handful of e-bikes or Bromptons, perhaps? Transport for London has some good advice on pool bikes for business. Pool bikes fill a different role from bikes obtained through Cyclescheme; they complement each other well.
9. Cycling is the only personal transport option for some of your employees
One in four adults (26%) doesn’t hold a driving licence, according to Government figures. The proportion who can’t ride a bike is just one in eight. That suggests that 14% of adults – one in seven – can cycle but not drive. Supporting them in cycling to work provides personal mobility they otherwise wouldn’t have. The same goes for those who can’t yet cycle at all. Cycle training would benefit both groups, as well as helping to convert employees who currently drive.
10. It’s good PR
Cycling is environmentally friendly transport that reduces noise and air pollution. The European Cyclists’ Federation has calculated that a bicycle and rider are responsible for 21g of CO2 per mile, and an e-bike and rider just 22g of CO2 per mile. A car produces 271g per mile! Cycling also reduces traffic congestion, which costs the UK economy nearly £40billion per year.
Encouraging and supporting cycling at your workplace helps you to do your bit in combatting both pollution and congestion – and doing so shows corporate social responsibility. With young people increasingly turning their backs on cars, a company that’s demonstrably pro-cycling is likely to be better placed to attract and retain the best new talent.
Ready to add Cyclescheme as an employee benefit?