Renfrewshire Council

Cycle2Work scheme

What the Cycle2Work scheme is, who can apply, conditions, how to apply, salary sacrifice and how it affects your pay, when the scheme finishes, queries about the scheme.

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What the Cycle2Work scheme is

The Cycle2Work scheme is a benefit available to Renfrewshire Council employees and elected members. It's a cost-effective way to buy new cycling equipment, including bikes and accessories.

The scheme is a great way to save on equipment for cycling to and from work, and for personal use too.

You can apply for anything between £100 and £2,000. This means you could potentially save up to £960 on a new bike and accessories.

The Cycle2Work is done through a 'salary sacrifice', so the reduced cost of your cycling equipment comes out of your pay. This means you won't have to worry about a large, one-off cost. Based on your personal tax band, you'll save between 32% and 42% off the usual cost you would have paid for your new cycling equipment.

The scheme is run in partnership with Halfords, one of the largest cycling providers in the UK and have over 100 years of experience of the cycling industry. The company provides a tax-free bike scheme for employees in line with the government's green transport plan, which promotes healthier journeys to work to reduce environmental pollution. Halfords offers a user-friendly scheme, giving access to a wide choice of bikes and accessories from themselves or an approved participating store.

Cycle2Work orders will close on Sunday 10 December 2023.

Who can apply for the scheme

The scheme is open to all full-time and part-time Renfrewshire Council colleagues and elected members who:

  • pay Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE)
  • earn more than the national minimum wage after salary sacrifice
  • are on a temporary or fixed term contract which continues beyond the 12-month repayment period
  • are over 18 years of age to comply with Consumer Credit Act legislation

If you're under 18, you can still apply for the scheme. However, you'll need to sign a hire agreement and guarantor's form.

If you work part time, job share or have other flexible working patterns, you can still apply, if your salary deductions don't take your salary below the national minimum wage.

If you aren't eligible for the scheme

If for any reason you can't hire a bike through the cycle-to-work scheme, Halfords offers all council employees a 10% discount up to a maximum value of £500.

Conditions of the scheme

You can't use Cycle2Work to get a bike for a family member, partner, or friend. The items that you select must be for yourself.

You don't have to get a bike. You can just get cycle accessories if you want. You may be able to get an adapted bike through the scheme. Contact Halfords for advice in the first instance, as they have a network of suppliers who provide such bikes.

The government guidelines state that you should use your bike and accessories for commuting for at least 50% of its usage.

Before you apply

Halfords recommends finding your preferred bike and accessories before applying so you know exactly what amount to apply for. This way you won't apply for too much or too little. This is important to get right, because you cannot amend your application once it has been approved and it is not possible to top up the amount with your own money.  

You can shop in-store at Halfords, Tredz, or one of the independent shops Halfords works with. You can also shop online by redeeming your letter of collection online at or by using Click & Collect at If you'd like some help or advice, get in touch with the Cycle2Work Customer Support Team on 0345 504 6444.

How to apply

You can apply to Cycle2Work through our employee benefits platform, called mylifestyle, before Sunday 10 December 2023. Read more about how to register for mylifestyle if you've not already done so.

Here's how to apply for the Cycle2Work scheme:

  1. Research where you would like to get your bike from: Halfords, Tredz, or a local independent bike store.
  2. Decide how much you want to spend on your bike and accessories. You can choose to take between £100 and £2,000 in increments of £5.
  3. Apply to Cycle2Work through our employee benefits platform called mylifestyle. If you don't yet have a mylifestyle account, read our guide on how to register for your mylifestyle account 
  4. Once you're registered with mylifestyle, visit the mylifestyle hub and select 'My Benefits'.
  5. Select 'Cycle2Work Benefit'
  6. Select 'Connect to Cycle2Work'
  7. You will then be redirected to the dedicated Halfords' Cycle2Work site, where you can start your application.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter of collection by email. You can then collect your new bike and accessories from your chosen retailer.

If you change your mind

If you change your mind, there is a 14-day cooling off period. You must contact Halfords directly by:

  • using the link at the bottom of your letter of collection
  • calling the Halfords Customer Experience Centre 0345 504 6444
  • emailing Halfords at

Once the 14-day cooling off period has passed, you can't cancel the agreement, and you will have to make your payments until the end of the 12-month hire agreement period.

What salary sacrifice is

Salary sacrifice is an agreement between yourself and the council where you give up part of your salary for an agreed period in exchange for a non-cash benefit, such as a bike or cycling safety accessories. This scheme runs over 12 months.

Each pay period, a payment will be deducted from your gross salary in return for hiring a bike and safety accessories for you to use. This element of your salary will not have tax or national insurance applied to it, making it a tax-free benefit. You can make up to 42% savings, but the actual amount you pay from your salary depends on your personal tax band.

Your salary sacrifice deductions will normally start on the first available pay date after you have received your letter of collection and the 14-day cooling off period has elapsed. This will be confirmed by email or in writing before any deductions are taken from your salary.

By agreeing to a salary sacrifice, you understand that this constitutes a change to the terms and conditions of your employment.

You can participate in any salary sacrifice schemes that the council runs, provided that the total reductions in your salary for all schemes does not take your salary below the national minimum wage.

How the scheme can affect your other benefits, contributions, or pension

If you participate in this scheme, you agree to a reduction in your contractual salary. However, your entitlement to council salary-related benefits will still be based on the level of your salary before the reduction. This is known as your 'basic salary'.

Once you have decided how much you wish to spend on your bike or accessories, we will check to make sure the salary deduction amount does not result in you being paid less than the national minimum wage or lower earnings limit.

Your entitlement to state benefits

Your actual salary, rather than your basic salary, will be lower under the scheme. Your entitlement to any state benefits will be based on your actual salary rather than your basic salary.

If you are paid close to the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions (NI), your entitlement to various state benefits may be affected if the reduction in your salary takes you below the lower earnings limit, which is £123 per week for the 2023 to 2024 tax year.

It may affect your entitlement to:

  • statutory maternity pay
  • statutory paternity pay
  • statutory adoption pay
  • statutory sick pay.

Your entitlement to a state pension

As this is a salary sacrifice scheme, the deductions may impact your state pension entitlement, as salary sacrifice reduces the earnings on which your national insurance (NI) contributions are charged. You can find out more about the new state pension on GOV.UK.

Your pension contributions

For employees who are part of the Local Government Pension Scheme or Scottish Public Pensions Agency, your pension contribution is calculated before your cycle-to-work deduction is taken. This means that your pension is unaffected by this payment.

If you are on maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental, or parental leave

You can participate in the Cycle to Work Scheme if you are on maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental, or parental leave.

If you are absent from work during the hire agreement period, your salary reduction will continue and apply to any occupational pay, such as occupational sick pay and occupational maternity pay.

There won't be any reduction to your salary if you are:

  • being paid a statutory amount for these kinds of leave
  • receiving no pay but you're still a Council employee.

In these instances, your hire agreement will still apply but it will only start again when you are back at work and receiving full salary payments.

If you are on long-term sick leave

You can apply for the cycle-to-work scheme if you are off long-term sick. The reduction in salary will continue during the period of your sick leave unless you get statutory sick pay only. In this case, there will be no reductions made towards the cycle-to-work scheme.

Suspending the salary reduction

If the reduction in salary is suspended, it will start again when you return to work and for the rest of the 12-month period. If you do not return to work, we will adjust your final salary to account for any balance due.

The arrangements can also be suspended for periods of unpaid leave such as parental leave and special leave over four weeks.

Other paid leave

In terms of other paid leave, like annual leave, public holidays and paternity leave, the salary sacrifice arrangements will continue during these periods.

If you leave the council

If you leave the council, you will still have to pay the outstanding amount remaining on your 12-month hire agreement. This will be deducted as a lump sum from your final net salary and you will pay tax and national insurance on this final amount.

Contact the Payroll Section or your link HR & OD Team as soon as you can if you are leaving the council before the end of your 12-month hire agreement.

What happens to your bike at the end of the scheme

Once your hire period has come to an end, Halfords will get in touch to discuss your options. This will include the opportunity to extend the hire of the cycle at no additional cost until HMRC deem the value to be negligible. This is typically 4 or 5 years, and once this agreement has finished you will become the owner of the bike or equipment.

If your bike is damaged or stolen

Looking after the bike is your responsibility. However, to make this a whole lot easier, Halfords gives all their members an optional eight weeks of free insurance, with a 20% discount if you take out a longer policy. This makes sure nothing will stop you cycling if your bike is damaged or stolen.

Who to contact if you have any queries

You can contact the Halfords Customer Experience Centre helpdesk on 0345 504 6444. Employees can call this number for more information on the scheme before, during, and after the application process as well as throughout the repayment life cycle.

If you have a general enquiry about the council's cycle-to-work scheme, contact the HR &OD department at

If your contact details change at any point, you should update your details on Business World and on the Edenred employee benefits portal as soon as possible.

You should also contact the Halfords Customer Experience Centre on 0345 504 6444 so that they have your up-to-date details and they can contact you at the end of you hire period to discuss your options.