Expenses and benefits: counselling for employees

As an employer, you don’t have any tax, National Insurance or reporting obligations if you provide welfare counselling services for your employees.

The counselling service must be:

  • for welfare issues, such as bereavement, ill health or stress, problems at work, sexual abuse or personal relationship difficulties
  • available to all your employees

The counselling service can’t offer:

  • tax advice
  • legal advice
  • financial advice on any matter other than debt problems
  • advice relating to leisure or recreation
  • medical treatment

Salary sacrifice arrangements

If you provide counselling as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement it won’t be exempt. You’ll need to report on form P11D whichever amount is higher:

  • the salary given up
  • the cost of the counselling

These rules don’t apply to arrangements made before 6 April 2017 - check when the rules will change.

Technical guidance

Read more detailed information on exemption for welfare counselling.