Human Resources

May I choose any bike?

You can choose any bike, including electric bikes, providing your chosen supplier is a Cyclescheme partner and is able to supply it - there are over 1,000 independent bike shops who are partners. 

What kind of safety equipment may be included?

Safety equipment normally covers the following items; helmet, secure lock and chain, repair kits, reflective clothing, lights, reflectors and luggage carriers.

How long will it be before I can collect my bike?

The whole process from signing the hire agreement to the voucher being sent to you can take between 2 and 4 weeks although the average time is 2.5 weeks.  There may be additional delays due to postal or other problems.

How much will I save?

Savings are made through tax and NI contributions. You can normally save between 30% and 40% on the cost of a bike. Actual savings will depend upon your personal tax banding.

Do I have to cycle the whole journey to and from work on every day that I normally work?

Travel by bike does not have to cover the whole journey and could be from your home to your local station. You do not have to cycle in every day that you normally work but it is a requirement of the scheme that you use your bike for at least 50% of work journeys. There is no specific requirement to cycle for a specific number of days either per month or per annum nor to record your mileage. You may use the bike for leisure at weekends and on holiday.

What if I change my mind, may I cancel the arrangement?

Once you have collected your bike, you will have 7 days after the collection date to cancel the arrangement. Once this period expires you will not be able to cancel the arrangement.

What kind of parking/storage facilites are there?

Birkbeck has a limited number of spaces for parking and storing bikes. If it is a folding bicycle, it may be stored on the premises subject to the agreement of your manager.

What if the bike shop I want to use is not a partner of Cyclescheme Ltd.?

Cyclescheme has a growing network of over 1100 Partner Shops in the UK who can be easily located through the postcode search on their website. If you find the bike you want but the bike shop is not a Cyclescheme partner, contact Cyclescheme. They will try to establish contact with the shop with a view to them becoming a Cyclescheme Partner Shop.

Is it possible to extend the hire period?

There are limited circumstances where this may be agreed. For example, if you take a period of unpaid leave or a career break, the hire period may be extended for up to a further 6 months maximum.

Why can’t I just buy the bike from you rather than using this salary sacrifice scheme?

In order to benefit from the tax savings on the purchase cost of a bike, you have to join the Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme. If you don’t wish to do this, you have the option of applying for a bike loan. This offers you the opportunity to apply for an ‘interest free’ loan to be repaid over an agreed period. Contact the Payroll Manager for further information on Bike Loans.

What is a ‘fair market value’ payment?

A fair market value payment is the amount that someone would be willing to pay for the bike. The HMRC have issued guidance to employers on what may be considered fair market value.

What happens if the bike gets lost / stolen before I’ve paid for it?

If the bike is lost, stolen or damaged during the hire period, you will still be responsible for any outstanding payments due under the cycle to work scheme agreement. This is why you must have sufficient insurance cover for your bike in order to participate in the scheme.  You may be able to include this to your home insurance. You will need to make sure that any safety equipment purchased conforms to your insurance company’s requirements. Advice is available from Cyclescheme Ltd’s partnering shops.

What happens if I want to leave the scheme early and keep the bike?

If you leave the scheme before the end of the hire period you will have to pay the full cost of the bike from your net salary. If you wish to purchase the bike, Birkbeck may opt to sell you the bike at their discretion. A termination fee equivalent to the ‘fair market value’ will normally be charged.

What if I don’t want the bike at the end of the hire period?

Hopefully this is fairly unlikely. However if you decide to return the bike at the end of the hire period, you will need to inform Human Resources and return the bike to a Cyclescheme Partner store. You will be charged the equivalent of the ‘fair market value’ for the disposal of the goods, to a charity.

Do I need to let HMRC know that I am participating in this scheme?

There is no need for you to contact HMRC about this. Birkbeck’s cycle to work scheme is part of a government-sponsored initiative that has been set up so that employees do not have to pay tax and NI on items bought under the salary sacrifice agreement.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX