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 200 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.