Case study: Spires Healthcare enters the bicycle valuation matrix

Spires Healthcare has adopted HMRC’s valuation matrix to determine the fair market value of bicycles in its cycle-to-work scheme. 

It went live with the latest offer under its Halfords-provided scheme in September, after introducing the benefit for its 7,000 staff in January 2008.

Jim Carson, head of reward at the private hospital network, says: “There is not a lot of difference, to be honest. We have always donated the money [paid by staff] to charity, because the employee has already paid for the value of the bike [by that stage].”

He adds that, overall, take-up of the scheme has increased since the guidance was issued, although the organisation has seen a change in the type of staff using the scheme. 

“We made it clear to people that the rules had changed and they had to understand the change before committing to the scheme,” says Carson. “It did not dilute take-up among those who wanted to buy a bike. The mix was very different. It was generally genuine cyclists at the lower-value end and less taking up high-value bikes.”

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The forthcoming tax changes to childcare vouchers are also likely to impact on the organisation’s workforce. Because of this, it will encourage staff to sign up to the scheme before the new rules come into effect on 6 April 2011. “We will be having a marketing push on that and trying to get a couple of offers in,” says Carson.

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