Home Immigration News Relaxing Work Rules for Asylum Seekers Could Boost UK Economy By £42m

Relaxing Work Rules for Asylum Seekers Could Boost UK Economy By £42m

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Author:Adam Bloodworth

Asylum seekers’ right to work in the UK is only permitted after they have been waiting on a claim for 12 months, and claimants can only work in roles listed on the shortage occupation list – but that could all be about to change.

Former environment secretary and chair of the Conservative party, Caroline Spelman, is urging the government to consider shortening the period asylum seekers must wait before working, in a move which would allow more UK entrants to contribute to the economy more quickly.

The MP has also outlined her interest in widening the pool of available work to asylum-seekers, which currently only includes jobs on the shortage occupation list, which currently include skilled jobs such as engineering, design and development.

Working Asylum Seekers Could Contribute £42million to the UK Economy

If the stringent rules on work for asylum seekers are relaxed, the newly-generated workforce would, in theory, mean a dramatic boost to the economy, campaign group Lift The Ban estimate the economy would be boosted by £42.4m boost per year, should the ban be lifted

According to The Guardian, Spelman has chaired a debate around the topic of bringing asylum seekers into work faster, which received support from multiple parties.

“The impact for an asylum seeker being able to work transforms their situation and helps hugely their mental health,’ Spelman has urged in a statement to the newspaper. ‘The effect of working helps to integrate them better and results in them contributing to the economy.”

Imagine if I had to live on £5.39 a day and struggle in so doing to support a family

Spelman continued: “I just put myself in their shoes. Imagine if I had to live on £5.39 a day and struggle in so doing to support a family and yet feeling my talents and everything I had learnt, my education, was in fact wasted. I would feel really down.”

She surmised: “I’ve seen far too many asylum seekers who have been depressed by their experience. Enabling them to work I think would be transformational.”

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes has responded encouragingly to Spelman’s call. Reportedly, she is considering the arguments put forward at the meeting, albeit warning that the government’s approach must be ‘balanced’.

Spelman is responding to wider calls for asylum seekers to be given the right to work.

71% of the Public Feel Allowing Asylum Seekers to Work Improves Integration

The Lift The Ban campaign, is calling on the government to ‘bring the UK in line with other countries,’ namely our European counterparts, who offer fairer employment deals for asylum seekers.

The coalition say that ‘almost all other rich countries give people the opportunity to support themselves at an earlier stage and with fewer restrictions’.

The coalition argues that allowing asylum seekers to work earlier would help reduce the costs of keeping people on asylum support, as well as offering the economy an estimated £42.4m boost per year, should the ban be lifted.

lifting the ban on working helps asylum seekers integrate, improving English language skills as well as offering the chance to develop social circles.

The wider social repercussions of lifting the ban on working include helping asylum seekers integrate better, improving English language skills as well as offering the chance to develop social circles.

The coalition also outlines the positive outcome of polling by thinktank British Future, which found that 71% of people agree that allowing asylum seekers into work earlier would help improve integration.

The Lift The Ban coalition comprises 80 organisations. They include charities working with asylum seekers and refugees, thinktanks and not-for-profits, as well as businesses and faith groups.

According to The Guardian, immigration minister Nokes insisted she is ‘listening very carefully’. She also clarified that ‘I do think it’s important to recognise there’s a balance to be struck and to make sure we make the right choices’.

Labour has announced it would remove the ban on asylum-seekers working, enabling them to work after six months.

Asylum seekers have been subject to horrific treatment at UK detention centres, which has prompted the Home Office to launch an investigation into the bad practice.

Asylum seekers have not committed a crime. Seeking asylum is a human right, set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This principle is also enshrined in the Refugee Convention.

Asylum seekers can be detained indefinitely at immigration detention centres, without the approval of a judge.

There is growing pressure on the government to introduce a 28 day limit to detentionin places such as Yarl’s Wood. Following the general election in June 2017, the UN called on the UK government to reduce the use of detention.

The fundamental rights to liberty and security of person, as well as freedom of movement, apply to asylum-seekers

The United Nations

The UN report states: “The fundamental rights to liberty and security of person, as well as freedom of movement, apply to asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless people alike. And yet the UK detains strikingly high numbers of asylum-seekers and is one of only a handful of countries without a time limit on immigration detention.

“We urge the government to correct this anomaly by introducing a time limit and significantly reducing its reliance on detention.”

Source: https://rightsinfo.org/asylum-seekers-right-to-work-uk-government-lift-the-ban/

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