Cycle to Work Day 2019: Why your business needs a Cycle to Work scheme

August 8th is Cycle to Work Day—the UK’s biggest cycle commuting event, encouraging everyone to abandon fossil fuels for a day and cycle to work.

While you can register on the Love to Ride site to log your journeys and take part formally in the day, you don’t need to. All you need is a bike, and the ability to ride it.

While we can’t really help with the latter, we can help you look into a Cycle to Work scheme for your business—and walk you through why it’s a great idea.

What is the Cycle to Work scheme?

Since 1999, the Cycle to Work scheme has been helping people find greener, healthier alternatives to their commute. It’s a way to make buying and staying safe on a bike cheaper for your staff. They can select a bike and some safety accessories—such as hi-vis clothing, a helmet, and lights—and obtain them tax-free through a salary sacrifice arrangement.

Your staff will be able, in some cases, to save over 40% of the cost of this equipment. And you, as an employer, can save as much as 13% of the total salary sacrifice value, due to reductions in National Insurance contributions.

How do I join?

There are a few points to check off before you fill out the cycle to work scheme application form:

  • Are you an employer—specifically, are you able to enter into an agreement on behalf of your organisation?
  • Are your employees paid via PAYE?
  • Do you have all your details to hand? Address, VAT number, number of employees, etc.

If you tick all those boxes, you’re ready to go. It doesn’t matter how big or small your organisation—as long as you have PAYE employees, you can take advantage.

What are the benefits of cycling to work?

Of course, it’s not just the financial perks that are great about this. There are plenty of health benefits associated with cycling to work, which your employees simply don’t get by driving in every day:

  • It improves cardiovascular health—a small amount of light exercise every day makes your lungs and heart work harder, and cycling Is perfect for this.
  • It makes you happier (no, really)—daily exercise can help with sleep disorders, addiction problems, moderate depression, and dementia.
  • It can be faster, in cities with good cycle infrastructure—more and more cycle lanes and segregated roads are appearing, which when used properly move quicker than rush-hour traffic.
  • Your employees will sleep more, feel better, and potentially meet other cyclists socially—exercise tires out the body, making sleep deeper and more satisfying. It also helps with muscle development. And cycle clubs are some of the friendliest people on the planet.
  • Even for beginners, the benefits of cycling for weight loss are almost unmatched—it’s easy and cheap to get started, and you can make the ride as hard as you like. It’s a calorie-burning, time-saving, environmentally friendly transport for all.

Employees will feel the health benefits of cycling just 15 minutes a day within weeks. And a healthier office can work harder. It’s a win-win.

What do my employees need to do?

First, it’s a good idea for them to do some research. What kind of bike would they like? Until recently, there was a hard cap of £1,000 on the scheme, which made some e-bikes out of the price range. But the cap has been lifted, meaning people can choose a battery-assisted bike more easily.

Once they’ve found a bike they love—and some gear to go with it—they can apply via the scheme’s website. They’ll need an employer code—the scheme administrators will supply you with this, so be sure to pass it to interested staff!

After they apply, you’ll be sent the details of the agreement to sign off. You’ll be able to see the total cost and the savings—both to the employee and yourself—that you’ll make.

Once you’ve signed off, the employee will receive a certificate, which they can take to a shop to exchange for a bike. They’ll be able to enjoy those benefits of cycling—for weight loss, for toning up, for environmental concerns—immediately.

If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493.

 

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