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Ian – Unlock provided me with information and advice and introduced me to another new business start up

Ian initially contacted our helpline for some advice in 2019 after the solicitors he had worked for, for 25 years suspended him when his conviction from 1988 came to light.

In order to ensure that they were fully compliant with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Ian’s employers decided to carry out retrospective background checks on all employees and Ian felt that he had no option but to disclose his conviction to one of the managing partners. His employers took advice from both the SRA and an employment law specialist but neither were able to offer any definitive guidance as to whether Ian’s conviction prevented him from working in a finance role.

Although the SRA later confirmed that Ian’s role did not fall within the scope of the regulations and he didn’t need to have a criminal record check, his employers had already made the decision to terminate his employment.

When our advisor spoke to Ian he was shocked to find himself unemployed after 25 years and we were able to provide him with advice around ‘friendly’ employers and disclosing his conviction.

In early 2020, Ian got in touch with the helpline again. He explained that finding a new job was proving difficult and he’d decided to utilise his skill set and knowledge to set up his own business. Ian asked whether we were aware of any organisations that he could approach for a start-up grant or loan and if we knew of any web designers that might help him with a new website.

We gave Ian the details of two organisations that fund business start-up’s as well as information relating to a scheme run by the Department for Works and Pensions. We also introduced Ian to a digital design company set up by a gentleman following his release from prison in 2018.

Ian emailed us a couple of weeks ago to say:

“I’m now up and running my own company. That would be a cause for celebration in itself, but I also have clients. It’s been just over a year since I lost my job and the past 12 months have been tough, but with the support and help from people like you and others, I got through this and the future does not seem as daunting.”


Notes about this case study

  1. Ian was supported by Unlock’s helpline
  2. We have practical guidance on self-employment/running your own business
  3. Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.



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