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Swisse is proudly reaffirming our commitment to wellness with the launch of Australia’s first Ride to Work Scheme. Swisse is the first ANZ business to offer employees a tax deductable salary sacrifice ride to work scheme.
All Swisse employees are entitled to a $2,000/pa loan to purchase cycling equipment to ride to and from work. Over 12 months, employees repay this amount from their pre-tax salary, accessing potential savings. The scheme operates on the same principle as salary packaging a car. Currently the scheme in Australia is not tax-exempt, meaning Swisse will pay the Fringe Benefit Tax on behalf of the employees $2,000 investment.
Swisse Wellness Managing Director, Oliver Horn says “Working in the UK for many years, I was a keen participant of the UK Cycle to Work scheme. Over the last seven years in Australia, I have commuted every day to and from work using the very bike I purchased through the UK scheme. I have experienced first-hand the health benefits of this fantastic daily ritual. It positively impacts my mental and physical health, I am fitter and faster into work, and it’s great for the environment.”
Hear more from Oliver Horn on his passion for cycling, and what it means to him to be able to ride to work everyday.
Comparatively globally, average cycling rates in Australia are very low. Only 125,000 workers (1.4% of total commuters) ride a bicycle to work. This is an embarrassingly low figure (for a flat and dry country) compared to Northern and Western Europe where average cycling rates are ten times that of Australia (#1 Netherlands 43% participation, #2 Denmark 30% participation).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports almost 7 million people drive to work every day. That means for every bike commuter, there are 56 car commuters clogging up our cities. This scheme seeks to reduce this divide and increase cycling participation in Australia; helping to resolve congestion, improve health outcomes and positively impact the environment. Swisse also aspires to foster a stronger cycling culture in Australia, whereby there is stronger rider-driver safety awareness. For every car driver that becomes a new cyclist, that driver becomes more cycle aware.
Ride to Work Schemes have witnessed great success around the globe, with leading UK scheme provider CycleScheme, today attracting almost 800,000 participants. UK scheme findings report an 91% increase in journeys on bikes over the last decade, more than 50% taking up the scheme being new to cycling, 76% of users say they would not have bought a bike had the scheme not existed, and 87% participants report a noticed improvement in their health after starting to ride to work.
“The success overseas is evident and Swisse is committed to championing this scheme to become a national initiative in Australia. We are excited to work in partnership with like-minded industry stakeholders to drive and scale this scheme nationally and the Australian Government to help create further opportunities that incentivise and support all Australian businesses to readily adopt a national Ride to Work Scheme.
At Swisse, wellness is the cornerstone of our business and we aim to support every Australian to not just be alive, but to live well. Together with Australian businesses and the Australian Government, we have the opportunity to bring this national Ride to Work Scheme to every Australian,” says Horn.
Long-time friend of Swisse and Australian Tour De France winner, Cadel Evans, is supporting this initiative to encourage all Australians to move more to achieve a better overall physical and mental health.
“I’m excited to see Swisse champion cycling with the launch of the national Ride to Work Scheme. As a passionate cyclist, it’s fantastic to see a business not only supporting its employees but inspiring all Australians to live a healthier and happier life,” says Cadel Evans.
As we grow the Ride to Work Scheme at Swisse, we are keen to stay in touch and share our evolving journey so we can support other businesses and Australians to also experience the joy of cycling. If you or your Australian business is interested in implementing the scheme into your workplace, register your interest here so we can keep in touch, share information and provide support, as the scheme excitingly evolves at Swisse.
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