Lift the Ban report: Why people seeking asylum should have the right to work

‘We believe that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance possible of contributing to our society and integrating into their new communities.’

This is according to an October 2018 launch report (pdf) from the Lift the Ban coalition.

The report also notes that:

  • The UK’s approach to employment rights for people seeking asylum is significantly more restrictive than that of any other comparable country.
  • Those seeking asylum in the UK are often effectively banned from working for long periods – they must wait a year to apply for the right to work, and even then are restricted to a very limited list of professions.
  • Changing this policy could help people seeking asylum to integrate into their new communities, and be beneficial to their mental health.
  • Such a policy change could allow those seeking asylum to better provide for themselves and their families, giving them the opportunity to use their skills and fulfill their potential.
  • Changing policy in this way would benefit the UK economy by allowing people seeking asylum to contribute, as well as reducing the costs associated with asylum support.
  • Giving those seeking asylum the right to work legally would also help challenge forced labour, exploitation, and modern slavery.
  • The much-discussed ‘pull-factor’ (where work opportunities are seen to encourage migrants to apply for asylum in the UK rather than elsewhere) is not backed up by evidence. Rather, studies show little to no evidence of a link between labour opportunities and choice of destination for those seeking asylum.

Find out more and join the campaign by reading the full report. (pdf)