Sainsbury’s increases take-up of cycle-to-work scheme

Since Sainsbury’s launched a cycle-to-work scheme at the end of June, over 100 staff members have taken advantage of it and that number continues to grow.

The scheme was introduced so that its 150,000 employees, based at over 850 locations across the UK, will be able to get fit and be mindful of the environment.

Under the initiative the retail chain will fund the up-front cost of the bike and any safety equipment under the maximum spend of £1,000 while staff pay the hire amounts on a monthly basis from their pre-tax gross pay in a salary sacrifice arrangement. At the end of the hire agreement staff will have the opportunity to buy the bike at market value.

Sainsbury’s has had a voluntary benefits package in place since 2007 that offered bikes, and general products and services to staff. Helen Paxton, head of reward at Sainsbury’s, said: “We wanted to offer cycle-to-work as a scheme because the associated benefits are far better than the ones you would get as a voluntary benefits discount. Also, we got lots of feedback from our colleagues that they were really keen to have a scheme.”

In addition to offering the cycle-to-work scheme, Sainsbury’s has offered childcare vouchers since 2005 and a stakeholder pension scheme since 2004 through salary sacrifice.

Also on offer to Sainsbury’s staff this summer is an additional 5% discount at the retailer’s locations. Once employees have been working with the organisation for six months staff are eligible for a discount card that gives them 10% off their shopping at Sainsbury’s for the length of their employment.

“For a two-week period over the summer that discount will be raised to 15% to recognise that this is an expensive time for our colleagues and to recognise that the team has worked hard during the year so far,” Paxton added.

“It encourages our employees to shop with us and get to know the products, but it also passes on a great benefit to colleagues.”

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