Particular benefits: bicycles: what counts as making bicycles available
Section 244 ITEPA 2003
EIM21664 explains that one of the conditions that must be satisfied in order for the exemption for loaned cycles to apply is that cycles are available generally to all employees of that employer.
As indicated at EIM21664, employers do not have to make cycles available in exactly the same way to all employees in order to meet this condition. The basic condition is that all employees have the option to access a loaned or pooled cycle (subject to the limited exceptions outlined in EIM21665). However, as long as there is genuine access to a cycle for each employee, it does not prevent the exemption from applying if employers make cycles available on different ways to different groups of employees. Some examples of this approach are described in EIM21664.
Additional examples of ways in which an employer might make cycles available in different ways to different groups of employees are as follows:
- The choice of model of cycle is more restricted for some employees than for others
- Loaned cycles are available across the entire workforce but employees who do not enter into salary sacrifice arrangements for a cycle are required to make a contribution towards the availability of the cycle. The cycle must still be provided on terms that mean that it is a benefit in the hands of the employee and the availability condition will not be satisfied if the benefit of provision to such employees is wiped out by the amount of the required contribution. To put it another way, if the terms on which the cycle is provided are such that there would be an amount of benefit on which the employee would be taxable if there was no exemption available, that is enough to show that the benefit of a cycle is available to that employee.