|Personnel Today's Smart Buyer provides expert guidance on cycle-to-work schemes...|
The great majority (89%) of employers who use cycle-to-work schemes believe they are an important tool for improving employee engagement and 98% of users would encourage their colleagues to take part.
This is according to a report by the Cycle to Work Alliance, which also found that 97% of businesses think that the scheme is an important way to encourage a healthy workforce.
Cycle-to-work schemes are a tax-exempt benefit, often offered to employees through salary sacrifice. Under the scheme, staff can loan bikes from their employer for cycling to work.
The report, which surveyed 44,500 employees who take part in cycle-to-work schemes and 1,233 employers who run them, showed that the programme is particularly popular with new cyclists. Just under two-thirds of those who currently use the scheme did not cycle before they signed up and 70% classed themselves as novice or occasional cyclists.
Cycle-to-work schemes offer employers and workers a range of benefits including improved attendance and productivity amongst the workforce, alongside a healthy and environmentally-friendly way for staff to get to work.
Mark Smith, Cycle to Work Alliance representative and retail director at Evans Cycles, said: "The rapid growth of the cycle-to-work scheme is a testament to its popularity. Employers are seeing the benefits of a healthier and more engaged workforce, which is vital as the country moves out of recession."
The minister for cycling, Norman Baker, said that he wants to support as many people as possible to start cycling: "The benefits of cycling run much deeper than balance sheets or carbon footprints. It's a crucial life skill as well as offering easy, exhilarating exercise."
For more information on the benefits of cycle-to-work schemes, read our Smart Buyer guide.