If you're worried about how our cycle to work scheme is going to work during the colder and darker months, don't be! Below we've listed three reasons as to why our cycle to work scheme works all year round
We love Spring!
The weather is improving, the days are definitely longer. We’re not walking home in the dark after work. As we see the first crop of seasonal flowers emerge from their hibernation in the form of bluebells, daffodils, and snowdrops, people’s mood generally seems to be more upbeat and optimistic.
As more of us emerge and spend time outdoors, there tend to be more questions about our Cycle to Work scheme coming through to our office. It seems that lots of people look out of the window and vow that this will be the year they use their commute as an opportunity to exercise more.
Whilst we absolutely rejoice in people recognising the benefit of our scheme, we always make sure to emphasise that cycling does not just have to happen in the Spring and Summer months. Cycling is a year-round benefit, and for that reason we felt it was only right to share three of the main reasons why in this week’s blog.
Who doesn’t enjoy snuggling up on the sofa with a box of chocolates in the winter months? There is nothing cosier than wrapping oneself in a blanket and indulging in a few sneaky boxset marathons whilst the wind and rain beat down on the window.
But, as the news has frequently reminded us in recent weeks, this winter is going to be an expensive one. Gas, heating and electric costs are spirling. National Insurance Contributions have increased, food costs are going up, as are petrol prices. As everyone reaches to crank up the thermostat when November rolls around again, the thought “can we afford it?” will be looming large in our minds.
It might seem strange that as we approach Springtime in earnest in the UK, we are writing about the worries of the cost of heating during Winter 2022/23. But, any changes that we collectively need to make to financially thrive over the next few years will need to happen now if we are to feel the benefit.
This Springtime is the perfect opportunity to launch a Cycle to Work scheme in your workplace, as it will give those employees who take up the scheme several months to transition into new transportation routines and habits. Changing to cycling to work can save employees significant sums of money over the summer months, meaning they have more cash in their budgets available for heating costs over Winter. Many sites calculate that cycling to work can save workers as much as £3000 a year on travel expenses. Think of how that will help during December!
Make sure that you give your employees easy access to their employee benefits via an online digital platform, so they can feel the benefit throughout the year, from any location.
I am always less fit in the winter than in the summer. It is inevitable. The poorer weather means that I am out and about less, and the darker nights make me much less likely to go to exercise classes.
But, building a good routine of cycling to work during the Spring and Summer months can mean that those habits last longer into Autumn and Winter. A Cycle to Work scheme in your workplace can ensure that employees have access to high-quality cycling equipment throughout the year. They will be far more likely to use this mode of transport to get to work at all times of the year when they have easy access to it. Accessories such as hi-vis jackets, lights, and reflectors can be purchased through the scheme, ensuring your team is safe regardless of the weather or visibility.
The average person will burn between 450 and 750 calories per hour when cycling, so even a small commute can help people stay fit. A Cycle to Work scheme can really help people stay healthy all year round.
And finally, one of the all-year-round benefits of the Cycle to Work scheme is one that affects both your team and your company. As a business, there are significant savings that you can earn from maintaining a Cycle to Work benefit scheme all year round.
Because your employees make their Cycle to Work scheme contributions as a form of salary sacrifice, they reduce the overall amount that they are taxed. Your overall National Insurance Contribution (NIC) will also be lower, as the salary you give up under this scheme is not subject to your NIC calculation. This is great for the employee and can sometimes mean that the employee has a rise in take-home pay, particularly if employees have a higher wage.
The Cycle to Work scheme’s salary sacrifice also means that the employer has to pay less National Insurance contributions too. Meaning that there are significant savings to be had as a knock-on effect of implementing this scheme at the business level. The more employees that join the scheme, the greater the savings for the business as a whole.
We always make sure that we help our clients advertise their scheme thoroughly throughout their workplace to ensure that the take up for the scheme is as high as possible.
Even if their bike gathers a little bit of dust during the darker months of the Winter, the benefit of the scheme can be felt all year, by your team and by your business. We feel that the scheme can really help your team, supporting their personal health and sometimes helping them financially in the form of larger amounts of take-home pay. It also helps you, as a company, navigate these tricky times of rising utility bills by reducing the amount of NI contributions you make.
So, do not presume that cycling is just an activity for the Spring and Summer months. Feel the benefit all year, and help your team thrive.