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4 July, 2008

Opportunity re-missed

My employer is introducing a suite of 'flexible benefits': salary-sacrifice schemes allowing one to avoid paying tax on a range of products and services.  One is a 'cycle to work' plan, whereby an employee can buy a £1,000 voucher for a bicycle, if the primary purpose is to travel to and from work.

£1,000 for an everyday commuter bike? Impressive. Almost as impressive as the foolhardiness of then leaving those £1,000 in generally insecure locations for ~40 hours each week.

Oh, and behind the carefully-obfuscatory wording this is exactly the same cycle leasing deal I mentioned a while ago: it seems the bike remains the property of the employer, though the employee is still liable for the full cost if anything happens to it, and the employer is not obliged to transfer ownership when the full purchase price has been paid.

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