How do Large Cities Sell their Employers Benefits Cycle to Work Scheme
Howdo Large Cities Sell their Employers Benefits Cycle to Work Scheme
Thisstudy involves identifying the ways in which cities sell the benefitsof cycle to work plan. The purpose of carrying the study is toanalyze the affairs of the plan to try and get a clear picture of theevents concerning the plan. The study characterizes the benefits ofcycling to work. These benefits make it easy for the statepopularizes the scheme.
Toachieve the said objective some of the employees cycling to work willbe interviewed using questions that will bring out the reasons as towhy they chose to join the plan. Descriptive research will be used toinvestigate the role played by the employers. Factors contributing toits success will be examined. The part of the employers will also bediscussed at length in order to identify their influence. They areresponsible for ensuring that the employees benefit from this mode oftransport.
Itis impressive to see the steps taken with the plan in promoting cycleto work. Most individuals have adopted the method giving the planreasons to promote and encourage the use of bikes to travel to work.It is of high satisfaction when research is conducted on issuesrelating to the scheme. The plan has become of interest to manyinclusive of the stakeholders and, therefore, benefits the society.
Therate of interest evident on the scheme has made governments getinvolved in trying to find ways of selling the plan to many people.It will be of help to the entire country since it will control theresources used in travelling and promote environmental conservation.The government will also find it easy to control traffic on its roadbecause most of it is caused by cars and with the use of bikestraffic will reduce significantly. The advantage is that personnelwho control traffic will be channeled to other areas.
Theeconomy will grow substantially due to easy of access to most areas.This growth will increase productivity in most businesses. Productionwill increase as a result of employees working on time making itpossible to complete tasks in time. Cycling has great health benefitswhich will be translated to their performance in the workplace. Theemployees experiencing the benefits will not be reluctant toencourage other people adopt the mode of transport.
Thisresearch will add onto the already existing research and thus providemore information that will enlighten people on the cycle to workplan.
Thecycle to work plan was formulated in the 1999 Finance Act, it allowsthe employers to give bicycles and the safety equipments for cyclingas a loan. The help given to the employees is tax-exempt. The schemerequires employers to lease or purchase the cycling equipments fromvendors, the plan director has to approve it and the employers hirethem to the employees. The employer can decide to allow the employeepurchase the equipment after the time within which the loan wasgiven.
Cycleto workplace is a form of tax incentive that aims at convincingemployees to cycle to work instead of driving or using any othermeans. Adopting this mode of transport will improve the health ofindividuals and reduce air pollution. To meet their objectives, thescheme gives an opportunity for the employees to get assistance froma long term loan of commuting equipment and bikes. The commutersrequire equipments such as locks, lights and panniers and they aretax free. Employers get the benefit of working with punctual, fitterand wide-awaken employees.
Thisstudy aims at finding ways in which the plan can gain popularityamong the employees. Its goal is to provide knowledge toorganizations in adopting the mode of commuting to work. Thegovernments can devise ways of promoting the plan so that many peoplecan buy it hence making it general. This study looks forward tofinding out the ways in which the providers can sell the plan.Selling off the plan is done through development of a local bikemap, initiatives taken by the local community, forming bicycle usergroups, training.
Thescheme has great benefits to both the employers and employees. Thesebenefits can be used in showing other people what the plan can do,which will in turn make the scheme attractive to other people.Selling the plan involves eliminating the barriers that preventpeople from cycling.
Inthis research, the research design that will be used is a descriptivesurvey. Its main purpose is to determine the ways in which countriessell the cycle to work scheme. The investigations will concentrate onexamining the current cyclists and their reasons for joining theplan. It is also important to analyze the strides that the idea hastaken in popularizing the program.
Descriptiveresearch is important in allowing the researchers acquire accuratedata that will be efficient in the research. It will make it easy forcollection of data necessary for the study to be conducted. Themethod surpasses constraints that might limit the scope of theresearch some of them are limited time and time constraints.
Descriptiveresearch- in identifying the methods used by the government inselling the scheme there was the use of questionnaires that were giveto the employees. The questionnaires will bring out what theemployees think concerning the plan and the steps taken to make itgeneral.
Theresearch targets employers who have subscribed to the scheme and itsemployees. The employees not enrolled to the scheme will also beinterviewed.
Questionnaireswill have open ended questions important in collecting information. There will be an opportunity for the respondents to fill out theinformation that they have regarding the plan. They will have thechance of expressing their opinion without hesitating. The aim ofusing questionnaires is to obtain the opinions and views concerningthe plan. It is appropriate since it allows many responses that arenot limited, brings out details that are rich, reveals the logic ofthe respondents, process of thinking and the reference frame
About the cycle business scheme
Thescheme allows employees to acquire a bike that is tax-free, whichenables them to save on average around half the standard cost. Theplan is free to join for the interested parties. It strictly runsaccording to the green travel plan of the state and meets all therequirements set in place. The plan provides agreements for hire tothe employees and one can process the certificate from a securewebsite at no charge.
Employeesare able to visit a bike shop out of over 1850 of them thatparticipate in this noble course. The employees get to select theequipment and a bike of their choice they are provided with a paperquote. They employ the online tool in the cycle plan and request forthe package they choose by filling in the details and able to requestfor a certificate. Once an employee has made an application for acertificate, confirmation of the eligibility takes place and theapplication is approved. The plan will send an invoice for thepackage, and an agreement for hire is taken to the employee forsignature.
Uponcompletion of the payment for the bike, the employee gets thecertificate. The employee then contacts the chosen shop and makes anarrangement on the collection. The remaining balance that relate tothe bike is paid via what is known as salary sacrifice. When the hireperiod is over, the employee caters for the Market Value amount ofthe bike and, therefore, becoming the owner of the bike. The cyclescheme can take a payment for the employee.
Upto 400,000 people use the idea in buying a bike. The introduction ofthe scheme was done as a tax exemption in promoting healthiertravelling to the workplace. The scheme has managed to accomplishthat in great strides, with the current report declaring it saves CO2emissions of an area that equals to the size of Hereford yearly.
Theemployer gets to own the bike since the plan was set up to enhancework travelling rather than the usual cycling. In practice everyoneknows that the employee is the one buying the bike, but that becomesthe case legally after the end of the salary sacrifice. Then theemployee gets to buy the equipment from the employer.
Thescheme is one of the state’s plans this is because, within itsGreen Transport plan, tax exemption was implemented to make itpossible for employers to avail bikes and safety equipments to theemployees. In technical terms, the employer hires the bike to theemployee, who buys it after finishing salary sacrifice for a marketvalue that is fair.
Thescheme has proven to be an essential way of getting commuters awayfrom the roads 67% of the users will get to their work area by carbut instead they cycle to work. Measuring to 13million miles in aweek, as an agent of behavioral change, the plan encourages employeesto cycle to work.
Thealliance is a legal group that protects the providers and users ofthe scheme in negotiating with HRMC. The alliance seeks to disclosethe environmental and health benefits that the plan provides. Thealliance is in place to oversee the performance of the plan to ensurethat it becomes vital to the country.
Thegroup encompasses Cycle solutions, Cycles scheme, Halfords and EvansCycles. It works towards promoting the scheme and providing knowledgerequired for employers to subscribe to the scheme. It helps the localauthorities and central government realize their objectives.
Thecycle to work alliance emphasizes on the benefits derived from thescheme. Cycling allows employees to keep fit, reducing carbonemissions and reduces congestion but a percentage of the populationis unable to meet the cost of purchasing a bike. This alliance cameup for the sole purpose of supporting the scheme to provide.
The cities have devised ways of putting up foe sale the employers benefit cycle to work initiative. Groups have been created to help employers make use of the tax incentive. One such company is bike to work which helps the employers with administration at no cost. They create a specific point for purposes of creating contact incases of inquiries and invoices. They do all this ensuring that they provide the most attractive choice for bicycles to the employer. When dealing with larger companies, bike to work visits them to assist the employers ensure that the cycle to work plan is promoted. They do this by visiting work areas so as to provide an insight into how the cycle to work scheme operates. They even showcase the bikes that are offered. This company provides a service in the United Kingdom and other cities, as well.
Other employers are encouraged on offering the service because of the benefits that employers get from the scheme. The following are some of the employers’ benefits: the employer has no obligation to operate the plan. The employer can choose not to inform the revenue that they will offer the plan. The employer can choose a place to purchase a bike and no limit is set on the days that the employee should cycle to work.
There are various ways of promoting the cycle to work scheme. The United Kingdom has adopted different ways of selling the scheme so that many people can purchase bikes. One of the methods used is training.
The two main barriers to that the plan faces are security and safety. The cyclists fear for their lives if they have to cycle back home late in the day hence discouraging them from commuting to work using bikes. Accidents happen when one is cycling and there is no insurance to the cyclists. It puts them at arms lengths that are detrimental to their health. Preventing them from getting into cycling influencing negatively the government’s effort to encourage cycling.
Countries are adopting different ways in order to lure other employees into the cycling plan. One of the ways is training most people do not know how to cycle that discourages them from joining the plan. Training program is important in increasing the number of people who know how to cycle. Once the training is over they can easily be persuaded to cycle to work.
Provision of safety equipment is another way of promoting cycle to work. Accidents do happen with bikes thus it is essential to ensure that the cyclists have access to safety equipments. It is important in guaranteeing the safety of those who cycle to work. They will not get harmed or injured during their time of using this mode of transport. From the study cyclists are mainly concerned with the lack of security that is mostly a deterrent to those who currently do not cycle to work. 29% of the population in London believes that cycling is unsafe.
Mapping a map that the cyclists can take when commuting to work. The countries identify specific routes that are safe for cyclists to use when commuting to work. In London, most cyclists keep to the main roads in most of their journey but when approaching their destination they make use of the side streets.
The United Kingdom creates bicycle user groups that are important in bringing employees together to encourage each other in the vice. The user groups aim at bringing in several people into the plan. They make it easy for people to relate with commuting to work using cycles. Feeling left out discourages individuals from joining the scheme, thus the user group is an important aspect of making the scheme grows.
The government can make use of local communities in carrying out initiatives that are aimed at making known the importance of cycling to work. In essence, the initiatives should involve people of the community so as to enable them make a contribution to the scheme. It will allow them feel like they are part and parcel of the plan. There will be an effect on people’s opinion changing their perspective about using bikes to work.
40employees were interviewed during the research in collecting data.
Employeescycling to work had different views on how the government was sellingthe cycle to work plan. The views were based on the way in which theyjoined the scheme and their observations made on other cyclists.
80%of the employees said that training is the most successful way thatthe scheme has managed to attract more people, this is followed byuser groups and lastly the community initiatives1.
Figure1: Pie chart
Theinformation presented in figure 1 is that of the ways used by thecities in trying to sell the employers benefit cycle to work plan.The methods used have a different result in terms of the change theymake towards the objective sought. The chart clearly shows thattraining is more effective than other methods, which is representedby the bigger portion in the pie chart. From the chart, the citiesmostly train people to cycle that get them to buy bikes through thescheme. Training leads to the success it portrays as depicted in thechart. Bicycle user groups come second as one of the methods ofselling the plan, which is closely followed by bike map andinitiatives respectively.
Theparticipants appreciate the effort the government is making insupporting the scheme. They are satisfied and happy about the mode oftransport they are using. They easily go to work and perform theirduties.
Cyclingto work has increased the morale of the employees since they get totheir workplace with sufficient energy required to get them throughthe day. It also results in fitness enabling the employees to bephysically healthy. Physical health is key in ensuring that dutiesare carried out with ease and completed. Several factors have provento be helpful in influencing employees into benefiting from the cycleto work plan.
Thestakeholders have taken a keen interest on the issues relating to thescheme. They promote training for the employees and any other relatedparties. Facilitating the training has had a positive influence tothe users making them more comfortable with changing their mode oftransport. Individuals who went through the training did not hesitateto buy the bicycle through the scheme. They had the knowledge andskills needed and at the same time able to access the bike in anaffordable manner.
7.1The characteristics needed for the users of the cycle to work scheme
Allemployers in the voluntary, private and public sectors have an equalchance of implementing a tax free loan scheme for the benefit of theemployees. Employees having the interest of participating in the planhave to receive payment of their salaries using the PAYE system.People who are self-employed or employees under the National minimumwage cannot participate in the scheme2.There are no requirements on the least or maximum size of thebusiness that can join the plan. There are alternative ways for thescheme providers to include employees, who are on national minimumwage, employees who have a contract that does not exceed 12months andthose less than 18 years.
Employeesinterested in cycling can easily join it through their employees. Itis an affordable way of purchasing bicycles. Employers adopting thescheme can easily encourage their employees to purchase the bikes.The purchasing process is important in making them get to work ontime and at ease. Other employers get concerned with bearing theresponsibility of an employees cycling to work and back home becausethe company owns the bike.
RichardGrigbsy suggests that employers get around the issue by leasing thebikes through a finance house, who will in turn be the owners of thebike for the period it will be on the lease. The finance house willrequire the employee to sign an agreement promising to take care ofthe bike in a roadworthy and safe condition when it is on hire. Theyalso agree on personally insuring the bike.
Employerswill register to the scheme at no cost. There are no actualrequirements needed as long as they have employees that are underPAYE program. Employers willing to register in the scheme are thosewho want their employees to also enjoy the benefits. Its impact onthe employees will reflect back to the employer. The salary sacrificeis directly deducted from the employee’s payslip before gettingtheir payment. The advantage is that despite them not havingcompleted paying the cost of the bike, they get to use it forcommuting to work, which is different from purchasing a bike directlyfrom the suppliers. Buying directly from the supplier proves to bedifficult for most employees due to the high cost.
Employerscan set up a plan at no cost, within 24hrs and minimaladministration. With the scheme employers can hire cycling equipmentsand bikes tax free, so that they can cycle to and from work. It doesnot cost much to create the scheme and maintain it this makes iteasy for the employers to assist the employees buy bikes forcommunicating purposes.
Thescheme has financial benefits that are attributed to it’s abilityof causing behavioral change. After conducting a survey, 98% of thepeople considered the savings made on the cost of the bike paramount.Showing that joining the scheme enables the employees to increasetheir savings.
Thecycle to work plan reduces pollution of the environment, therefore,reducing the expenses incurred by the government when trying to curbpollution. The scheme is sustainable and its effects to theenvironment are minimal. The level of gasses emitted from cars willreduce significantly hence reducing health complications. Healthissues are an expense to the community making them reduce theirexpenses.
Thesebenefits are important in increasing the number of people using thescheme. The employers and their staff get to gain a lot from the tax-free incentive. The government in the long run gets to feel or seethe benefits being reflected into the entire country.
Employersget healthier, fitter and very productive staff. Healthy employees donot easily fail to come to work since there will be no reasons ofillness or stress. For the employees, they get to save money that isinstead used in travelling the cost of the bike is evenly spreadover a month/week/year. The scheme offers the bike at no interest andthe chosen bike shops offer after sales service being an addedadvantage. It is a fact that the staff saves up to 42% on the amountpaid for the equipments and the bike.
Greenhousegases are majorly emitted by the transport system, being responsiblefor 23% of the world’s GHG energy-related emissions in the year2004. These statistics shows that around three quarters came fromvehicles. In the recent years, 95% of the energy in the transportindustry is from petroleum. The energy produced is used duringmanufacturing and also in vehicles and is incarnated ininfrastructures such as bridges, roads and railways.
Theeffects of transport in the environment can decline through thedevelopment of other modes of transport like cycling. The currenttrends throughout the century are an increase in car travel that isbecoming complex.
Cyclingto work is a sustainable mode of transport from reducing congestionon the roads to conservation of energy. Petroleum products pollutethe environment and are also expensive in the production. Thegovernment and the private sector will be able to protect resourcesthat are usually used in the production of energy. The environmentwill be free from hazardous chemicals that are detrimental to thelife of living creatures.
Cycleto work scheme contributes to helping upcoming cyclists to becomegood cyclists. 40% of employees participating in the plan regardthemselves as enthusiast cyclists after joining the scheme, beforethat they thought of themselves as being occasional cyclists. It alsoimproves performance in the cycling industry, as 72% of the cyclistsconfess that they would not have purchased the bikes if it were notfor the scheme.
Employeesunderstand the scheme since it makes their lives easy. It isconvenient for those who cannot afford buying vehicles for transportpurposes. Employees are always willing to make a salary sacrifice inorder to own a bike that is convenient as a mode of transport. InUnited Kingdom employees under minimum wage have found ways in whichthey can obtain the bikes. They are fond of the idea and are morethan willing to implement it. The number of people who own bikes hasincreased significantly due to the affordable package that comes withthe scheme.
Thecycle to work scheme has proven to be a powerful tool in engagingemployees. It is a way of getting to associate with the employees inmaking it a success this is because it takes the employee and theemployer to make it benefit both parties. From the research, 98% ofthe interviewees said they were willing to encourage their fellowemployees into taking part in the scheme this will be helpful inbringing the employees together creating strong ties that will behelpful in team work. Having one thing in common will enable themengage with each other both in the workplace and the social placesthis will have a positive effect in their performance which will bereflected in the organization through great financial performance.
Cycleto work transport incentive is not new since it was created in 1999in the United Kingdom. It has not been well adopted by most people.Individuals are reluctant to join the scheme and embrace the act ofcycling to work. They prefer using vehicles thinking that it is thebest means of transport. However, the state and local authority havetaken it upon themselves in trying to increase the use of the plan.
Theprocesses involved in offering the services are easily and no cost isinvolved’ this should make it easy for employers to make itpossible for their employees to benefit from the plan. The healthbenefits that come with cycling to work are of great importance toorganizations and the country as a whole. Pollution reduces to alarge extent if people are to cycle to work, preventing individualsfrom being exposed to hazardous chemicals that are harmful to health.It protects the current and future generation.
Thecities do not have to invest many resources in selling the schemesince most of the benefits can easily be seen by people. If citizenschose to seek to know more about it, they would be able to appreciateits existence and use the services. Dissemination of information isimportant in bringing a clear understanding of the scheme. This waythe employees can easily use the plan to obtain bikes. Cycling towork is the most efficient way of getting to the work place. It alsoboosts employee morale.
Successfulselling of cycling to work benefits will lure extra people intoaccessing the services. When the number of employees increases thestate will put less effort into the problem since they can easilyinfluence each other. Employers are the key drivers of this coursehence they are required to maintain a close relationship with theemployees ensuring that they do not give up on cycling. They shouldenjoy the benefits to the end unless under unavoidable circumstances.Eventually, the company will benefit in various ways theenvironmental image of the company will change, there will be thedevelopment on the morale, health and fitness of the staff andreduction in the congestion and parking problems.
Inrelation to the review of ways in which countries are selling cyclingto work scheme, I recommend the following
It is imperative for the management to assist the employees in making some of the critical decisions. Employees are the main users of the bicycles making them vulnerable. The plan cannot exist without them therefore their thoughts are important for the scheme to meet its goals and objectives. Being a participant does not mean that one is satisfied other issues may be of concern the employees. Proper management is required for the prosperity of the plan.
The study has presented the major way in which the state has managed to improve the plan. Active participation of the state in training users will improve the situation. Training schools should be set up for the sole purpose of providing knowledge and skills for the upcoming cyclists. The issue will bring about close attention to the potential users who are no able to cycle. Training makes it easy for the citizens to adopt cycling as a way of commuting to work.
The cycling industry should take advantage in the plan and develop their business. One of the figures from the study shows that a larger percentage of the participants have bought bicycles because of the plan. 72% give credit to the scheme as a result of them owning bikes. The cycling industry can invest in training potential cyclists in order to increase the percentage that buys the bicycles using the scheme. The growth of the economy will be experienced and, in turn, there will be job creation increasing the need for bicycles.
In most countries children use bicycles to go school, but in most cases when they start working they tend to stop cycling. This culture can change if the state and the plan talk to the students on the benefits of still cycling to work. Encouraging the children to continue cycling to work will improve the plan. It is a way of selling the scheme when most of the students get to realize that cycling to work is possible and the best way of transport. According to the research cycling to work reduces health complications to the society this should be the pivot for the local authorities to ensure that children adopt the mode of transport. Eventually, the country will be a healthy nation.
Participants should be encouraged to take it upon themselves in ensuring that other people take on cycling. The benefits of the plan should act as a motivation to the employees. Cycling to work scheme can create a program that will help the employees to invite other people. It is important in further motivating people to join the scheme.
Employers can come up with incentives for the employees who will join the scheme. The incentive will result in further increase, of employees joining the cycle to work plan. The benefits that the employers will get from this will be seen thus encouraging other employers to register in the plan. The country can use that employers already participating as a way of inviting the non-participants.
More resources should be invested in the development of the facilities used in cycling. It will lead to people getting to embrace cycling to work. Improving roads that are in poor condition especially the ones that are mostly used by cyclists (Workplace Law Handbook 2011).
Inorder to come up with the method that is mostly applied in sellingthe benefits, a group of people had to be interviewed from allsectors. The results were achieved through examining the responsesgiven and making calculations of the total responses in percentageform. The responses differed depending on the interviewee and his orher position in the business area.
Allthe methods identified had responses that were different. Out of the40 employees interviewed 32 of them said that training was one of themajor ways used to popularize the cycle to work plan. The localgovernment and the employers also concurred with that, stating thatthey have invested resources in making it a success.
Ingetting to overall percentage of those whose response was training,the following calculations were done:
Thenumber of respondents who gave training as their answer ÷ the totalnumber of respondents. The answer was then multiplied by 100% or32÷40=0.8×100%=80%
WorkplaceLaw Handbook (2011).Employment Law and Human Resources Handbook.Cambridge, Workplace Law Group.
1 Workplace Law Handbook (2011). Employment Law and Human Resources Handbook. Cambridge, Workplace Law Group (p 78-84).
2 Workplace Law Handbook (2011). Employment Law and Human Resources Handbook. Cambridge, Workplace Law Group (p 102).