Although the cycle to work scheme is designed to give employees a way of saving money when buying bikes, there are a number of benefits to employers of having a scheme in place too. These include improved workforce morale, reduced staff turnover and greater desirability for job-seekers.
Of course, in order to take advantage of these benefits, you need to get a scheme set up. It's straightforward enough to do this, but there are a number of steps involved.
First thing's first, it's important to know how the cycle to work scheme is structured. The scheme itself was first introduced in 1999 as part of the UK's Finance Act. The legislation allows employers to purchase bikes and cycling equipment for their employees and recoup their outlay from employees via a hire agreement, after which ownership of the bike or equipment can be transferred to the employee.
The scheme is delivered by a number of commercial providers, like Bike2Work Scheme. Each provider offers a similar service, with the potential savings for employees remaining the same. What varies is the way in which each provider delivers the scheme, the additional extras that are provided and the network of bike shops from which bikes and equipment can be bought.
To join a cycle to work scheme, employers can usually register online. It's typically free to do this and only takes a couple of minutes. Once a company is registered, their employees can generally sign up to the scheme using a unique company code assigned to their employer.
When both the employer and the employee are set up, the employee can submit a quote for a bike and / or cycling equipment via the provider. An invoice is sent from the provider to the employer, along with a hire agreement that must be signed by both the employer and the employee. Once the invoice has been paid, the employee is given a voucher for the goods that can be redeemed at the bike store where they got the quote. The employee then repays the cost of the goods to the employer over an agreed period of time.