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Our updates on the new guidance
15 Jul 2019
As a key member of the UK’s Cycle to Work Alliance, we support and advise government officials on how to encourage more people to complete short journeys by bike. The Cycle to Work scheme has been a fantastic and cost-effective way for employees and employers to get more people out on bikes, boosting productivity and bringing innumerable health benefits.
However, the Cycle to Work scheme rules have not always been wholly clear. At Cycle2Work we have been lobbying for further clarity on the original guidance for employers and clearer understanding of how they can provide a scheme that exceeds the £1,000 limit whilst remaining fully compliant with all prevailing legislation and regulation.
As you may be aware, on the 9th June 2019, the UK Government announced the release of the updated Cycle to Work guidance for employers. This updated guidance has brought about some complex market changes.
As the UK’s largest cycle retailer and fastest growing Cycle to work scheme provider for four years running, we know that our customers trust us and have faith in our service offering.
At Cycle2Work we are committed to offering you the same high levels of service and guidance that you have come to rely on over the course of your time with us, so we have taken the time over the past few weeks to fully digest and understand the updated guidance, so that we can provide our valued clients and partners with clear and concise information to enable you to understand the new scheme and make the decision about which scheme is right for you and your business.
In light of this, we are pleased to share our first update on the guidance and initial details on the development of our scheme:
Firstly, we are pleased to confirm that upon review of the new guidance, the current scheme offered by Cycle2Work is fully compliant with the requirements of the updated guidance and that access to a bike is fair and equal to all, be it through salary sacrifice or via our single payment solution for employees on National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.
It has been much touted in the media that the updated guidance allows clients and partners to offer their employees more than the typical £1,000 limit.
The question that we are often asked at Cycle2Work at the moment is “How can my business offer this?”
Historically, the only ways to exceed the £1,000 limit and remain compliant were;
- the employer obtains their own authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) to provide consumer hire of bikes;
- the employer is a Local Authority* and exempt from the FCA authorisation. For further information on this exemption please visit:- https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/authorisation/when-required/exemptions-exclusions/local-authorities
Under the new guidance, if you are an employer and have one of the above permissions already, GREAT NEWS! You can implement a new limit with immediate effect.
For those employers who do not, we have good news! The guidance states that an employer can now use the FCA authorisation of a third party (in this instance the Cycle to Work service provider’s FCA authorisation) to exceed the £1,000 limit. Halfords Limited – which is the parent of Cycle2Work, has a Credit Consumer License and the appropriate permissions already in place, and we will soon be enabling employers to use our license to set their own scheme limit.
As always, we have our partners and clients at the forefront of our mind, and want to offer you a fully compliant scheme in line with the updated guidance.
To ensure this happens, we are currently working with independent expert tax and legal advisors to finalise the new scheme documentation which will be shared with you very soon.
To give you an idea of the timescales involved for a successful rollout, please see below: -
- 11th July 2019 – Employers can start to register interest with us on increasing the limit
- Mid August 2019 – Full presentation pack of scheme details and legal documentation shared with interested clients.
- Early September 2019 – Systems and processes in place to successfully rollout increased limit offering using our license.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you our clients for your continued business, as our valued customers are the key to our success.
We look forward to continuing to offer the best cycle to work scheme on the market.
*Employer to visit website to determine exemption
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