BT is expanding the counselling services available to its 120,000 UK employees by outsourcing the bulk of counselling to employee assistance company PPC.
All counselling for personal, family and work-related problems will transfer to PPC's nationwide team of counsellors, while a reduced in-house team of 10 will focus on stress management and trauma counselling.
Twenty-five jobs were lost at BT as a result of the outsourcing.
Bruce Greenhalgh, BT's manager of employee assistance said the new arrangement will mean a better service for employees and better value for money, although he would not say how much the service will cost.
Staff will have access to more counsellors available at more locations, through PPC's offices.
They will be able to speak to someone over the phone 24-hours a day and get legal and financial advice. These services were not available in-house.
"People will be more confident speaking to external counsellors that there will be no leakage back to the company," he added.
Greenhalgh said BT has seen a steady rise in the demand for work-place counselling, which he puts down to more awareness of counselling and an increase in stress in society in general.
"The in-house team was managing but we felt we could provide a more comprehensive service by using an outsourcer while retaining a core team."
Managing director of PPC Philip Sanders said: "Such a major commitment from BT shows how valuable employee assistance programmes are to leading employers. They promote employee well-being, are effective in combating stress at work and play a role in guarding against potential litigation."