Asylum seekers and employment

Thank you to all those who contacted me about asylum seekers and employment, and I do appreciate your concerns for those seeking refuge in the UK.

I recognise that this is a very important issue; the UK has a proud tradition of providing a place of safety for refugees. Each claim for asylum is carefully considered and where it is found that individuals are in need of protection, asylum is given, with the ultimate aim of helping them to return home if it is safe to do so.  

To explain our current policy, asylum seekers are allowed to work, in jobs on the Shortage Occupation List, if their claim has not been decided after 12 months through no fault of their own. The current policy aims to strike a balance between being equitable towards asylum seekers, while considering the rights and needs of our society as a whole, prioritising jobs for British citizens and those with leave to remain here, including refugees.

The Government is considering recent calls to change the current policy and is reviewing the evidence available. In June 2020 the High Court granted permission for a judicial review of the current policy. As many of you pointed out in your emails, campaign groups, including Lift the Ban, make interesting points about the economic benefits of changing the policy and I am confident Ministers will take this into consideration when reviewing the policy. 

Thank you again to those who raised this with me taking the time to contact me.