The following statement is being shared on behalf of our Cycle to Work partner, Halfords:
Following the Department for Transport's statement that was released in December surrounding the usage in Cycle to Work we wanted to provide a follow-up on how conversations were progressing with Government bodies.
As a key member of the Cycle to Work Alliance, we have held really positive conversations over the past few weeks and can assure you that the Government sees the scheme as a great solution for employees throughout the UK to embrace cycling as a safe and environmentally friendly way in which to commute to work.
The move that was taken by the DfT was to reassure employees and employers alike that anyone who had enrolled in the benefit last year was not to be bound by the 50% usage ruling as signs indicated that many would be unable to adhere to this within their initial hire period due to the measures implemented by the UK Government to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus.
What is important to note is that there has been no change to the scheme guidance or how it is monitored by HMRC. This gesture was ultimately done to provide assurances for those who had joined the scheme in hope that the return to work was going to be a lot sooner than initially thought.
We must also reiterate the point that it is the employee’s responsibility to ensure the bike is to be used for the purposes set out within the guidance and you the employer are not responsible for this. As we are also the hirers of the cycle this provides further assurances to employers that no involvement is needed from themselves in relation to the cycle and how it is used.
As we move into a new calendar year, we are all hopeful that some form of normality will return in the Spring/Summer and we encourage that employers are to continue offering the benefit as normal. Please remember that this is a voluntary benefit that the employee enters into and that they are still within their rights to obtain a bike now and then use the bike for commuting purposes in the second half of the year. Indeed, we have had assurances that the DfT want to make the scheme more accessible than ever.
We will continue to provide our clients and partners with any future updates and we hope that the above has provided assurances on the matter and that the scheme is as strong as ever for you and your colleagues.