Don’t wait for staff to chance upon it. If you actively encourage Cyclescheme take-up, everyone’s a winner.
The more of your staff who get bikes through Cyclescheme, the better. Cycling employees are healthier, happier, and take less time off sick. They also save you money directly, thanks to the way that salary sacrifice works.
The price of each bike (and/or equipment) is exempt from income tax and national insurance contributions, saving your employees at least 25% on RRP – and saving you 13.8%, since it’s exempt from employer national insurance contributions too. That’s £138 for every £1,000 that staff spend on Cyclescheme bikes and equipment!
So it’s in your interests to encourage as many employees as possible to participate. Here are the five most important things you can do.
1. Sign up to the new ‘Freedom to ride’ scheme
This enables employees to get the bikes they really want or really need rather than the best available for £1,000 or less. Under the ‘Freedom to ride scheme’, the default Cycle to Work limit no longer applies. This benefits staff at both ends of the cycling spectrum. Cycling enthusiasts can pick their dream bike. Cycling newbies can choose an e-bike.
2. Provide facilities
No one wants to park their bike where it’s vulnerable to thieves and bad weather. Install secure, weatherproof cycle parking in a convenient location. Showers and a drying room are useful for those making longer or faster commuting journeys, while anyone can benefit from a locker for storing their cycling clobber.
3. Publicise the scheme
Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Make sure that all staff are aware that they can get a bike through Cyclescheme. Refer to the scheme during workplace inductions, when you cover employee benefits. Periodically remind existing employees via emails, the office intranet, and noticeboards. Spell out the benefits of taking part.
4. Incentivise cycling
Introduce a bit of friendly rivalry amongst cycling staff using online leaderboards. You can do this with Strava or, better yet, Love to Ride, which has prizes up for grabs. To make commuting by bike even more compelling, you could enable cyclists to earn not just kudos but cash or extra days off by riding to work. ByCycling is an easy way to organise this.
5. Provide staff training
When asked why they don’t cycle, one of the commonest reasons that non-cyclists give is that they don’t feel safe on our increasingly busy roads. You can give them the confidence and skills to ride in traffic, as well as the knowledge of how to plan commuting routes best, by providing cycle training. You could host this for free at your workplace or simply provide contact details and redeem any training costs.