Expenses and benefits: counselling for employees

As an employer, you do not 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 cannot offer:

  • tax advice
  • legal advice
  • financial advice on any matter other than debt problems
  • advice relating to leisure or recreation
  • medical treatment (other than counselling services such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or interpersonal therapy)

Salary sacrifice arrangements

If you provide counselling as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement it will not 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 do not 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.