Smiling young man wearing headphones and leaning against his bike.

Affordable ways to get employees on their bikes

13 March 2024

The Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel Week has begun! From the 11th to 22nd March, pupils and teachers are encouraged to adopt more environmentally friendly ways to get to school, including walking, cycling and scooting. We’re passionate about helping employees and businesses adopt healthier and more sustainable practices, and we're using the Big Walk and Wheel Week to explore how you can make cycling more affordable and inclusive for all employees.

When you think of employees and cycling, a Cycle to Work scheme is usually the first employee benefit that springs to mind... with good reason. Many businesses offer them because they can be free to implement, and there’s the added bonus of the Cycle to Work savings.

We gathered some research in 2023 that found that 64.20% of the employees interviewed had access to a Cycle to Work scheme, but only 24.70% took advantage of it.

Why do so few take up a Cycle to Work scheme?

We discovered a variety of reasons, including:

  • Lack of awareness
  • The rise in hybrid and remote working
  • Insufficient showering facilities at work
  • An unmanageable journey

Employers can overcome many of these obstacles, plus, there are substantial business reasons for doing so and embracing a company’s Cycle to Work scheme.


The health benefits of cycling

Cycling is an all-round health enhancer. It helps us get physically fitter, improves our sleep quality, reduces stress, and saves us money.

Let’s explore the advantages of healthy employees and the health benefits of cycling…

  • Physically healthy employees take less time off sick and have more energy. Those who cycle to work in the morning bring mood-boosting endorphins along for the ride. 
  • Mental ill health is responsible for 67% of long-term sickness absences and costs the UK economy at least £117.9 billion annually. Not only does cycling reduce stress, but the body and mind are connected, and when you feel physically energised and strong, it has a knock-on effect on your mental wellbeing. 
  • Cycling is a cheaper method of commuting than driving your car or taking public transport. Every penny counts, especially during the current cost-of-living crisis. Bikes don’t require road tax or petrol, making the daily or weekly commute much more affordable, thus reducing financial anxiety

Physical, mental, and financial ill-health reduce productivity and increase absenteeism. The health benefits of cycling improve all three areas, making life more enjoyable for your people and reducing potential business losses.


Cycle to work savings!

We can’t write a blog about affordability and bikes without spending some time on our Cycle to Work scheme. As a government-backed salary sacrifice scheme, employers and employees save money on National Insurance Contributions and taxes.

Cycle to Work savings can help fund further employee benefits, wellbeing initiatives, employee engagement activities, and training and development programmes. Each of these plays a role in enhancing your EVP, helping to attract and retain your talent. Given the rising cost of recruiting new people and the current skills shortage, your organisation needs to have a strong EVP to stand out, and your Cycle to Work savings can help make this happen.

We’ve published several blogs explaining how our Cycle to Work scheme works and the benefits of healthy employees. Read more here:


An inclusive approach

We’re a big fan of Cycle to Work schemes at Pluxee UK because they benefit the employee and the employer, making living life and doing business more affordable. That said, only an employee can apply for a Cycle to Work scheme because their sole purpose is to encourage people to choose the bike over the car for their commute.

The aim of the Big Walk and Wheel Week is to get our children to choose greener methods of travelling – our partners, too, and your employees cannot spread the cost of new bikes for their entire family via the Cycle to Work salary sacrifice arrangement.

Thankfully, we have other employee benefits that can make cycling affordable for your employees and their families.

Employee discounts… 

Our Employee Discounts Platform is home to discounts and savings with over 100 retailers, including those from which you can purchase bikes for the whole family. Unlike with a Cycle to Work scheme, employees can’t spread the cost over monthly salary deductions but can benefit from discounts of up to 20%.

Employee cashback… 

We partner with over 80 retailers to bring you our Pluxee Card, a prepaid cashback-earning card powered by VISA. Purchasing with the Pluxee Card requires payment upfront in full, without a discount at the point of sale. However, when employees use their Pluxee Card to purchase a new bike with one of our participating retailers, they can earn up to 15% cashback loaded onto their Pluxee Card account.

SmartPay… the smarter way to pay

When paying in one go isn’t an option, and a Cycle to Work scheme isn’t the solution, SmartPay may be!

As a salary deduction scheme, there are no NIC or tax savings for employers or employees. However, since the employer can set the maximum application amount, there is the opportunity to request a voucher to cover the cost of more than one bike. Employees then repay via monthly or weekly salary deductions directly from their wage slip over an agreed period, starting from six months.

Discover more about the benefits of embedding SmartPay, our cost-neutral employee benefit, into your business here.

Discounts, cashback and SmartPay are inclusive employee benefits that help employees and their families afford a leaner and greener way of travelling. A Cycle to Work scheme is the icing on the cake, helping those who can take advantage of it and their employer make significant savings!

Ready to unleash the benefits of healthy employees on your business? Arrange a call today.




Big Walk and Wheel