European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure GB-2020-32/1554 – measures in United Kingdom

British Land: Safe commuting in the return to work

British Land: Safe commuting in the return to work

Country United Kingdom , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 03 August 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Well-being of workers
Author Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound
Measure added 02 December 2020 (updated 26 January 2021)

Background information

British Land owns and manages commercial property, particularly focused on London offices and retail around the UK. Its strategy is to provide places which meet the needs of its customers and to create great environments both inside and outside its buildings, using its scale and place-making skills to enhance and enliven them.

British Land has a Bike Network within its organisation, created to make cycling an accessible mode of transport for any British Land employee.

The organisation was considering how it was going to exit lockdown, particularly as a business that provides office space to its customers. As it was considering how it could safely repopulate its office assets, its own office practice was a good starting point. Those who returned initially were all volunteers, and this gave the organisation an opportunity to get the right procedures and facilities in place, trialling them ahead of a wider return to the office.

Content of measure

The organisation carried out some research amongst its employees, which covered how they were feeling in lockdown, when and how often they thought they might feel comfortable returning to the office and whether they would change their journey to work after the pandemic. BL found that whilst 11% regularly cycled to work prior to lockdown, an additional 10% were considering cycling all or part of their journey.

This insight prompted a number of activities:

  • A group was set up to investigate physical changes that could be made to York House (its HQ) both in the short term (increased bike storage, additional drying facilities) and longer term (additional showers);
  • Changes were made to its policies and Ride2Work scheme and BL introduced CycleScheme to enable staff to buy a bike from a wider range of retailers and up to a higher value.
  • BL's HR team reached out to a number of key cyclists across the business to form the new employee led Bike Network.

The organisation had a kick-off meeting of 10 initial members in June, spent July agreeing mission and objectives and then launched to the company in July. BL's priorities are helping new cyclists with getting started in London, route planning, providing information on where to buy kit and equipment and generally breaking down the barriers to cycling. The firm is also running a buddying scheme where members of the network meet new riders to help them try out their route for the first time. The firm sent out details of the new British Land Bike Network in internal comms inviting employees to join and outlining how it will help the company with this initial return to the office.

The firm states that it has a unique opportunity to step change the number of people choosing to ride to work. It’s all about breaking down psychological barriers like fear of other vehicles on the roads or getting lost, as well as physical barriers like fitness and other barriers around inclusivity – there are still far fewer women who choose to cycle to work than men, for example.

The firm is applying for a small budget for its lending library of equipment and to run workshops on basic mechanics like changing an inner tube. It is also having discussions about sourcing some bikes that new cyclists can borrow to try out riding to work before needing to commit to spending hundreds of pounds.

The network has been met with significant enthusiasm – from existing cyclists keen to help those who are nervous, to new riders looking for tips on how to get started.

Use of measure

BL's employees.

Contents

  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

No involvement as this is a company initiative.

Views and reactions

No data on their views but support can be assumed.

Sources

  • 01 September 2020: CBI (2020) British Land: reimagining the typical commute post-lockdown (www.cbi.org.uk)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), British Land: Safe commuting in the return to work, measure GB-2020-32/1554 (measures in United Kingdom), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/GB-2020-32_1554.html

Share

Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023

 

Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. As winter approaches, preventing and addressing energy poverty becomes a priority. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound’s EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.

Article

12 September 2022

 

First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Article

12 September 2022

 

Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.

5 July 2022

 

Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Article

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.