Does A Consumer Proposal Affect My Employment?

The Impact of Consumer Proposals on Employment

Dealing with financial challenges can be a daunting task. Among the various debt relief solutions available, a consumer proposal is often considered a viable option. However, one question that frequently arises is: Does a consumer proposal affect employment? This article aims to shed light on this issue by providing an in-depth analysis of the potential consequences a consumer proposal might have on your job and career prospects.

Understanding Consumer Proposals

A consumer proposal is a legally binding agreement between you and your creditors, designed to help manage your debts effectively. It allows you to pay back a portion of your debt over time, with the remaining balance being written off upon completion of the agreement.

Consumer Proposals and Employment: The Basics

In general, consumer proposals do not directly impact employment. The Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act, which governs consumer proposals, prohibits employers from terminating, suspending, or otherwise disciplining an employee solely because they filed a consumer proposal.

However, there can be indirect consequences and certain exceptions based on specific job roles and industries.

The Employer’s Perspective

Typically, your employer is unlikely to find out about your consumer proposal unless they are one of your creditors or if you choose to disclose it. In most cases, it does not affect your ability to perform your job functions.

Exceptions and Special Cases

Despite the general rule, there are circumstances where a consumer proposal might have repercussions on your employment:

Licensed Professionals

Certain professions require maintaining specific standards, including financial ones, to retain their licenses. For instance:

Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA)

According to CPA Ontario Regulation 7-1, a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) or an aspiring CPA must inform CPA Ontario about their consumer proposal filing and the circumstances leading to it. Depending on the situation, the organization can decide whether to admit, reject, or impose conditions on the CPA’s certification.

Lawyers

Similarly, the Law Society may require lawyers to report their consumer proposal filings.

Human Resources Professionals

For Human Resources Professionals (CHRP, CHRL, or CHRE), immediate notification to the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is required upon filing a consumer proposal.

Certified Financial Planners (CFP)

Certified Financial Planners must inform the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) within 15 days of filing a consumer proposal.

What if My Employer Finds Out?

Should your employer discover your consumer proposal, it is highly unlikely that this would lead to job termination. However, if you are in a position of trust or have the responsibility of handling money, it may be prudent to discuss your situation with a trusted supervisor or HR representative to understand potential implications.

Consumer Proposals and Job Applications

When applying for new job roles, especially those involving financial responsibilities or trust, having a consumer proposal might affect the employer’s decision. Professions like law enforcement, fire service, prison service, and certain council service contractors might conduct a financial vetting process where a consumer proposal could be considered negatively.

Unemployment and Consumer Proposals

Contrary to popular belief, being employed is not a prerequisite for filing a consumer proposal. Even if you are unemployed, you can still file a consumer proposal, provided you have a guarantor who can ensure the repayments.

Conclusion

For many people, filing a consumer proposal is a practical solution to overcoming debt-related issues. However, it’s crucial to understand its potential implications on your employment. Always consider seeking advice from a financial advisor or a Licensed Insolvency Trustee before deciding. Remember, it’s not just about finding a solution, but about finding the right solution for your unique circumstances.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.