Everyone knows the benefits of staying fit and healthy; however, in a world where many of the workforce spend large periods of the day sat at their desks what can employers do to encourage their staff to stay fit?

The government, concerned about the cost to UK businesses of work days lost through ill health, are keen to promote the tax-advantaged opportunities that employers can offer to their staff.

One such incentive is the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme, in which employers can lend bikes and cycle related safety equipment to their employees with no tax or national insurance cost to the employee. Usually, at the end of the loan period the employee has the option to buy the bike from their employer. As long as the employee pays at least market value then no tax charge should arise.

Larger organisations may be in a position to offer in-house gym or leisure facilities to their staff. Subject to certain conditions, these facilities would not produce a taxable benefit in kind for the employee. Those who cannot offer these facilities themselves may be able to negotiate with local gyms and leisure centres to secure a corporate discount to pass on to employees. However, if an employer pays for an employee’s gym membership (either directly or through an increase to their salary) then this would produce a tax and national insurance charge.

For more information about providing benefits to staff please contact Andy Summers on 01788 539000.