People seeking asylum in the UK are effectively prohibited from working. This forced inactivity is significantly detrimental to self-esteem and mental health, increases the difficulty of integration, traps people in poverty leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, 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 allow people to use and update their skills and talents, assisting with 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.
Asylum Matters are the co-secretariat, alongside Refugee Action, of the Lift the Ban coalition, made up of 250+ businesses, think tanks, trade unions, health bodies, faith groups, refugee organisations and more, all campaigning for change and calling on the Government to Lift the Ban preventing people seeking asylum from working.