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Bankruptcy and your job

There are many things to consider before going bankrupt. How bankruptcy will affect your work is one of the most important questions you should ask.

Some jobs are not open to bankrupt people at all. You can’t do any of the following jobs until you’re discharged from your bankruptcy:

  • Charity trustee
  • Company director
  • Insolvency Practitioner
  • Justice of the Peace

If the official receiver extends your bankruptcy restrictions, you’ll also be barred from the following jobs:

  • Local or national government, for example a councillor or MP
  • School governor

Is bankruptcy right for you?

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Bankruptcy and your employment

Bankruptcy can affect other jobs in several ways. In some jobs, a record of bankruptcy may lead to dismissal, demotion or other issues. Some professional membership bodies don’t allow undischarged bankrupts to remain members.

If you work in the following industries, you should check whether bankruptcy will have any effect on your job:

  • Armed forces
  • Cash handling, for example banking, payroll or security
  • Financial services, for example accountant, mortgage broker, stock broker or financial advisor
  • Law, for example solicitor or legal executive
  • Medicine, for example GP or dentist
  • Property, for example estate agent, letting agent
  • Police
  • Pub licensee
  • Self-employment as a sole trader or partnership

You can check your employment contract to see if it says you can’t go bankrupt. If it does say this, you won’t automatically lose your job.

Ask to speak confidentially to your trade union rep or your employer’s human resources department if you need more advice on how bankruptcy might affect your job.

Many jobs are not affected at all if you go bankrupt. However, with some types of employment bankruptcy can have severe consequences, so it is always important to check first.

Most importantly, don't take any steps towards going bankrupt before taking professional debt advice.

Free bankruptcy advice

Bankruptcy is a big step and there may be more appropriate solutions to your debt problems. Use our online Debt Remedy tool, to identify the best course of action for your individual circumstances. All our advice and services are free and impartial.

Helping you become debt free...

"I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me." (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling (trading as StepChange Debt Charity) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (Company No: 2757055 ) and a charity registered in England and Wales (Registered Charity No: 1016630). Registered office: Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG. Consumer Credit Counselling Service (Scotland) trading as StepChange Debt Charity Scotland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland (Company No: SC162719) and a charity registered in Scotland (Registered Charity No:SC024413). Registered office: 33 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 6NL. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.