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Trust deeds and employment

Reviewed 29th April 2024

Some employments contracts do include a clause regarding entering into a formal insolvency proceedings, but it does not necessarily mean that your job will be lost.

The industry in which you work will have a bearing on this – undertaking a formal insolvency route whilst working in the financial or legal sectors for instance, is likely to cause a problem, and often entails disciplinary procedures.

The Prison Service, Police and Fire Services all have a policy that excludes involvement in insolvency, so the first port of call in these instances is to check your contract of employment for all exclusions that apply.

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Will my employer find out about a Trust Deed?

If you are not employed in a potentially ‘sensitive’ job such as those mentioned above, there is a small chance that your employer will find out about your insolvency. They would need to be actively searching through the register of insolvencies published by the Accountant in Bankruptcy, or have looked through the Edinburgh Gazette to find out, however, so this is unlikely to happen. The main concern of your employer will be whether having a Trust Deed affects your ability to do the job, but you may find that other members of staff are in a similar financial position, and all you need to do is make your employer aware of your own situation.

Why is it a problem for some professions?

Having unmanageable debt makes you vulnerable to corruption, particularly in the case of police and prison officers. Other jobs that require the handling of money or confidential information also expose you to threats of blackmail. It may be worthwhile speaking to someone trustworthy at work, to verify the company’s policy and gain some peace of mind. It is also advisable not to discuss your financial position with work colleagues, in case your employer inadvertently finds out about your situation.

The requirement to be in employment

A Trust Deed works by taking a proportion of your regular income from employment and paying off your debts over a period of time, usually four years. This means that you must be in employment to be eligible for this insolvency solution, as benefit payments are not allowed to be used to repay debt in this way. You can be eligible for a Trust Deed if you are self-employed, however, but even in these cases your work may come under scrutiny – in the case of council contracts, for example.

Will having a Trust Deed affect my chances of finding a new job?

It depends on the type of work you want to do. If you aspire to be a prison officer, or work for the fire brigade or police service, the fact that you have entered into a formal insolvency situation will probably exclude you.

These services operate strict regulations and financial checks on anyone applying for employment. Your Trust Deed will be highlighted early on in this process, and your application will probably be unsuccessful.

The same applies to certain other professions as mentioned earlier. It is understandable if you are working with money or sensitive information, that an employer would not take on somebody with personal financial difficulties. As far as other jobs are concerned, it should not be an issue.

Contact one of our professional Insolvency Practitioners at Scotland Debt Solutions for more information, and to book a confidential consultation free-of-charge. We operate from five offices around Scotland, and have vast experience of the Trust Deed system. By taking out a trust deed with Scotland Debt Solutions, we can help stop the phone calls and letters from those you owe money to. We will take responsibility for liaising with your creditors and letting them you that you have entered into a Trust Deed, and that all future communication must go through us. 

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