Asylum Matters: Right to work
People seeking asylum in the UK are effectively prohibited from working. This forced inactivity is detrimental to self-esteem and mental health, increases the difficulty of integration for those who are eventually permitted to stay, and places an entirely unnecessary cost on the public purse.
Asylum Matters believes that any person waiting for longer than six months for a decision on their asylum claim should be granted the right to work, unconstrained by the Government’s Shortage Occupation List. This change would provide people with a route out of poverty, would reduce the cost of the asylum support system, and would help integration for those who are eventually permitted to stay. There is no evidence to support the claim that such changes would act as a ‘pull factor’ and increase the number of people claiming asylum in the UK.
To that end, Asylum Matters working closely with Refugee Action, has mobilised a coalition of more than 40 refugee organisations, think tanks, businesses and faith groups to campaign for change. The coalition is calling for the Government to Lift the Ban which is preventing people seeking asylum from working. You can learn more about the coalition on lifttheban.co.uk and feel free to get in touch with us if you want to get involved or share your experience.
Home Secretary Calls for a Review on the Right to Work for Asylum Seekers
Last week, Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, responding to a question on Lift the Ban from Catherine West, stated that, while there were no plans to change the current arrangements, “this is one of the areas that I would like to review”. This was the first public confirmation of the Home Office review of the right to work and the first clear indication from the Home Secretary that he is open to reforming the policy. The statement was covered by The Guardian and prompted opposition MPs to push for an immediate end to the ban (Afzal Khan; Ed Davey).