Joining Solaris Health has allowed me to cycle to work pretty much every day. My daily route takes me through the magnificent Richmond Park and for me, it’s the perfect commute. I get my daily exercise, save money, and help reduce nasty emissions. Anyone contemplating taking this approach should find out if their employer has registered with a Cycle to Work scheme provider. Fortunately, Solaris Health has!
How does it work? This varies depending on the scheme provider your workplace has partnered with, as each provider offers the scheme on slightly different terms. However, the basic idea is the same across all providers: you choose a bike you like, your employer pays for it, and loans it to you while you pay them back through monthly instalments taken from your gross salary, meaning it is taken before any tax is deducted. As a consequence, you’ll be paying less tax and National Insurance during the loan period which normally lasts 12 months with most providers.
Does the scheme include increasingly popular and more expensive e-bikes? Yes, it does! The government updated their guidance in June 2019 to clarify that the scheme also covers bikes and equipment worth £1,000 and over. So, go and splash out on a fancy e-bike or, more precisely, encourage your employer to do so.
Just beware that to keep your bike at the end of the loan period, most scheme providers expect you to pay an ownership fee. In practice this tends to be a token fee, but it might still be worth checking out this little detail in advance.
More information can be found at https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/get-active/2019/everyday-walking-and-cycling/the-cycle-to-work-scheme-explained/