Clive Owen LLP, the award-winning accountancy firm, is reminding those returning to work following the easing of lockdown restrictions that help is available for those commuters eager to exchange four wheels for two.

The government-backed Cycle to Work scheme is available to those employers that allow staff to pay for bikes and related accessories via salary deductions from their pre-tax income – resulting in tax and national insurance savings for both employees and employers.

Clive Owen LLP, which has offices in Darlington, Durham and York, estimates that an employee can save between £240 and £353 in tax and national insurance payments on equipment worth a total of £750 over a two-year rental period, depending on the tax bracket. An employer could save a further £207 in national insurance over the same period.

The government has now extended its Cycle to Work scheme to include e-bikes and, following the COVID-19 outbreak, is committed to spending millions on dedicated cycle paths across the UK.

To take advantage, an employer must sign up to a recognised scheme, generally provided by third parties, and offer it to their entire workforce.

Employees may rent the equipment from the scheme operator over 24 months, at the end of which they can make a final payment to purchase, which is likely to be significantly lower than the original cost.

Ian Jarvis, partner at Clive Owen LLP, said: “The Cycle to Work scheme has been around for several years, but the government has shown a renewed interest because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The Prime Minister is encouraging people to reduce their use of public transport to respect social distancing and enable key workers to travel safely, and for some cycling is a great option, which also comes with obvious health benefits.

“At least 50 per cent of the bike’s use must be for commuting, which leaves plenty of time for leisure riding during the public’s current unlimited exercise time.”