There’s no financial limit on cycle to work schemes now, the health benefits are obvious, it’s a greener way to get around and you may have been able to claim your £50 voucher for bike repairs from Boris. There has never been a better time to think bike!
Let’s take a ride through the many ways and reasons to help your employees get in the saddle …
Cycling is just fantastic for your physical health and is linked with much lower risks of developing cancer (by 45%) and cardiovascular disease (by 46%) when compared to normal commuting by car or transport. It’s easy on the joints so great for any age; helps you build muscle; supports your balance and endurance and the resistance activity through pedalling helps to increase bone density. Plus, so important at the moment, you reap the benefits to the immune system through being exposed to different cold and warm stimuli.
Cycling also has major mental health benefits, including helping to reduce your stress hormones and anxiety, as it triggers the release of feelgood chemicals through all that pedalling activity! In fact, in a survey by Cycling UK, 91% of cyclists rated off-road cycling as fairly or very important for their mental health.
Not only does the individual benefit but companies benefit too. Research* has shown that the more often employees cycle to work and the longer the journey, the less they report in sick. Guidance from NICE suggested that on average you can reduce absenteeism by as much as 20% by encouraging staff to increase their physical activity.
It’s green …
The more people are encouraged to cycle, the less cars we will have on the road, which will obviously lead to less congestion and reduced carbon emissions. According to Sustran, the total cost of emissions for car trips each year in the UK is £3.98 billion. Air pollutants and noise pollution will undoubtedly also reduce with more bikes on the road. Did you notice how you could almost hear a pin drop during the national lockdown?
Also, if more people are cycling in to work there’s potentially less need for parking spaces, which could leave more green spaces available without the need for development.
With the rise of millennials in the workforce, with perhaps a greater interest in their ecological footprint, they will be looking to employers to further address green issues and climate change. So, it could be important to introduce or update your cycle to work scheme as part of your overall ‘green’ strategy, if you want to attract and retain staff.
Increased limits …
Did you know that according to the Department for Transport, the cycle to work scheme has involved over 40,000 employers across the country and has contributed to help more than 1.6 million commuters to cycle to work? That’s a huge amount but, with Covid-19, the world has changed and even more people now want to feel the benefits of cycling and being out in the open air as much as possible.
Back in June 19 the Government announced new guidance with an increase in the limits that employers were able to give their employees within their cycle to work scheme. It was aimed at helping many more commuters turn to greener journeys using e-bikes. While employers are not obligated to offer a scheme with a limit in excess of £1,000, we encourage all of our clients not to be scared of increasing their limits and recommend that they go for around £1,500 per employee. This enables their staff the choice of more expensive bikes and also includes important accessories to make their cycling experience as pleasurable as possible. And, if cashflow is a concern for the organisation, there is usually a finance scheme available.
Increasing your limits also means that even those who perhaps were thinking about getting a bike, but didn’t fancy a strenuous ride to work, can now afford to order an electric bike and pedal with less sweat! A great incentive for those that might need a little more persuading. There are over 19 different electric bikes to choose from if an employer extends their scheme limits.
Remember, the more people cycling the better their health will be, and the better your business will be for it!
For more information on how to implement or upgrade your cycle to work scheme for your employees please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Hendriksen, Ingrid & Simons, Monique & Galindo-Garre, Francisca & Hildebrandt, Vincent. (2010). The association between commuter cycling and sickness absence. Preventive medicine. 51. 132-5. 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.05.007.