Budget 2020: On 11 March 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced changes to the tax treatment of welfare counselling services provided by employers to their staff.
In his Budget 2020 speech to the House of Commons, Sunak stated that from April 2020 government would be extending the scope on non-taxable counselling services, to include related medical treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This will apply when these treatments are offered as part of an employer’s welfare counselling services.
Katharine Moxham, a spokesperson at Group Risk Development (Grid), said: “We welcome the government’s extension of the scope of non-taxable counselling to include related medical treatment such as cognitive behavioural therapy as part of an employer’s welfare counselling services. The role of employers in supporting those dealing with mental health issues has been seen as crucial and, quite rightly, should be encouraged, rather than penalised through the tax system.
“Income protection insurance through the workplace (group income protection) has been recognised as a product that works well for employers to enable them to provide a financial safety net and to help support people suffering from mental health.
“Mental health issues accounted for 24% of all group income protection claims last year. As an industry, we know how vital early intervention is in supporting people through mental health and moving them towards recovery and back into work, so it’s really positive to see that government [is] taking steps towards helping employers better achieve this.”