Bike to Work

AZ Jan Palfijn is the first hospital in Ghent to start with bicycle leasing

Sarah Lavigne and Wouter Pauwels, HR staff at AZ Jan Palfijn, explain how they were the first Ghent hospital to offer bicycle leasing to their employees.

"The idea to start with bicycle leasing has been around for a long time," says Sarah Lavigne. "In 2014, I went looking for specific information about bicycle leasing for the first time. At the time, the concept was still fairly new and on the rise. Unfortunately, we came to the conclusion that bicycle leasing was not possible for us at the time. We are a public hospital and depend on specific legislation regarding personnel policy and remuneration. However, since the Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur has given us permission to pay flexibly, we no longer had any reason not to start with bicycle leasing! ", Says Lavigne.

"When we received the approval of the Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur, we immediately took action and launched a public tender. The start-up actually went very smoothly, we arranged everything together with leasing firm o2o in a few months' time," says Wouter Pauwels.

Bicycle leasing via the end-of-year bonus
"Because we are a public hospital, we are limited in the options to offer bicycle leasing. We do not work according to the classic system of the monthly wage exchange, but via the end-of-year bonus and additional vacation days. This means we have to take into account budgetary limits . But we explicitly say that everyone can and may apply for a more expensive lease package. In this way we guarantee a maximum freedom of choice for our employees", says Pauwels.

Bicycle leasing as the icing on the cake
For the AZ Jan Palfijn team, bicycle leasing is the icing on the cake of a broader vision on mobility. "We are a modern hospital and we always want to look ahead, also in terms of personnel policy. The fact that after all these years we can finally offer bicycle leasing to our employees is a really important step for us, " says Pauwels.  "We have been promoting the bicycle for years: we took part in a bike testing program, we are participating in Bike to Work, we organize activities during the week of mobility, we renovated our bicycle parking, etc. Offering bicycle leasing was the next step for us: we finally did it as the first of all hospitals in Ghent, we are quite proud of it!", Lavigne adds.



67 employers and 4,451 employees cycled 58,564 rides during Bike for Life from 1 to 31 October 2023 for the good cause: A Bike for All.  Bike for Life was possible thanks to Bosch eBike Systems, the well-known manufacturer of drives for e-bikes. Bike for Life raised 58,367 euros.