Bikes-for-work schemes reduce staff absence

Bikes-for-work schemes are bringing employers wider business benefits as well as improving employees’ fitness.

A survey published by charity Sustrans in June showed cycling to work could halve the number of sick days taken by UK employees.

The survey, of more than 800 people on the National Cycle Network, found cyclists took an average of 2.4 sick days a year, compared with an overall average of 4.5 days’ sick leave per worker in 2011, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Such a reduction in absence levels could bring significant financial benefits for employers. Sustrans has calculated that halving employee absence levels by encouraging staff to cycle to work could provide a £13.7 billion annual boost to UK business.

Sustran has called on the government to recognise the economic value and health benefits of cycling to work by setting a minimum standard of facilities and support that workplaces should provide for employees who commute by bike.

These include the provision of adequate showers and bike parking facilities, access to bikes-for-work schemes and support in finding a safe route to work, perhaps by supplying maps.