Employee benefits come in all shapes and sizes, generally conforming to the ‘take it or leave it’ option. Sometimes, however, this one size-fits-all approach fails to truly deliver, as people’s lives are shaped by individual priorities and interests. With this in mind, the Bruker team in Antwerp, Belgium, has designed a new sustainable mobility benefit like no other — one that offers choice and flexibility, as explained by the team below.
Our mobility program comprises three pillars: a bicycle lease plan, a mobility scheme, and an all new company car policy.
Bicycle lease plan
In exchange for a part of their gross salary, employees can sign up to a bicycle lease plan, which includes not only the bicycle itself, but also its maintenance, roadside assistance and insurance. If a participating member’s bicycle is stolen, for example, their payments for the bicycle will cease and, should they wish, they can start over with a new bicycle.
After three years of subscribing to the scheme, employees can choose to buy the bicycle for a residual value of 16%. Staff at Bruker have warmly received this initiative as it provides them with a good quality bicycle, which help to keep them both physically and mentally fit – providing the opportunity to clear the mind while cycling home.
Employees who are entitled to a company car can opt instead for our specially crafted mobility budget, which is based on the total cost of ownership of a company car, including the leasing, the petrol and the insurance. So, for example, if the total cost of ownership equates to €1,000 per month, that employee has an annual budget of €12,000. With that budget, the individual can choose from three flexible options.
First, they can opt for a smaller, hybrid company car. It’s a sign of the times when ‘bigger’ isn’t necessarily considered better. Many of our workers who gain promotion and become entitled to a bigger car often choose to downgrade to a smaller one for a variety of reasons, including environmental factors.
The second option is to take the budget as a taxed lump sum at the end of the year which employees can then spend however they wish.
The final option is our most sustainable and innovative offer. Workers can choose a bicycle for themselves or for a family member, public transport tickets, or a short-term (30 days) car or camper van rental. Clearly these options have holiday potential for workers and their families! For those workers who live within a 5-km radius of the company site, they can choose to offset their budget against their rent or mortgage interest.
Cycling to and from work during the summer is one thing; cycling in the dark and cold winter months is a different prospect altogether. We have, therefore, built in flexibility to the mobility budget scheme to encourage staff uptake. If after six months a staff member decides to change how they use their mobility budget, they can do so.
Company car policy
For those employees who choose to drive a company car, we have changed our company car policy to reflect Bruker’s commitment to sustainability. Previously, people could choose whatever car they wanted. Now, we have standardized our fleet by choosing one brand and only hybrid cars to reflect our concerted focus on the environment and climate while keeping costs low for our employees, the taxation on the benefit of kind for hybrid cars being a lot lower than on a diesel.
This employee benefit includes charging facilities at work, as some staff members live in apartments and, therefore, do not have the possibility to charge their cars at home.
We and our staff are particularly enthusiastic about this new mobility scheme because, whichever option our workers choose, they contribute to making a positive impact on the environment. Employees are happy because we have given them a choice — they can choose the benefit that best fits their lifestyle. And we also benefit as a company because we not only keep the best people, we also keep happy, healthy and motivated people.