Despite a rising number of firms offering cycle to work schemes to their staff, few employees are taking these up, new research from Watson Wyatt reveals.
The consultancy found that while more than a quarter of UK organisations offer the schemes, more than half of these say that only one per cent of staff have adopted them. Only one of the 142 employers surveyed said that take-up had been higher than five per cent.
Cycling schemes were introduced by the government to promote healthier journeys to work and reduce emissions. Employers were also recommended to provide bike sheds for staff among workplace health guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence this week.
The schemes involve annual tax exemption allowing employers to loan cycles and safety equipment to staff as a tax-free benefit, as well as providing savings in national insurance contributions.
Kim Honess of Watson Wyatt said: "Despite the low take-up rates many companies are happy with their cycle to work schemes because for those few employees who do take it up, it tends to be highly appreciated.
"We fully expect employers to continue to introduce cycle to work schemes, not least because the administration cost and hassle is fairly low."
Research from the firm also revealed a significant increase in the number of flexible benefit, salary sacrifice and voluntary benefit arrangements offered to staff in the past two years.