Let asylum seekers, waiting for a decision to be made on their case, work suitable jobs

Let asylum seekers, waiting for a decision to be made on their case, work suitable jobs

11 July 2022
Signatures: 143Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Hasti Davoudi
  • It currently takes a 20-week wait to even register an asylum claim.
  • The number of asylum seekers waiting more than six months for a decision to be made on their case has trebled to 80,000 since 2019.
  • This has led to more asylum seekers being forced to rely on government support during their claims because they are not permitted to work. 
  • This means short-term costs to the taxpayer and also longer-term costs as well because the longer the person is out of work the harder it is for them to re-enter the labour market.
  • The majority of these asylum seekers will ultimately be allowed to remain in the UK long-term; in fact, the percentage has crept up to 75% by March 2022.
  • The small percentage of refusal decisions for asylum seekers to be allowed to remain in the Uk usually appeal their case, which now takes approximately 48 weeks.

statistics from:https://freemovement.org.uk/briefing-the-sorry-state-of-the-uk-asylum-system/

Waiting times for a decision can run to years, during which time:

  • The state support provided can be as little as £5 a day to live on, therefore most people seeking asylum live in poverty. 
  • Students with a pending asylum claim, and those who have limited or discretionary leave to remain in the UK are usually not eligible for student finance so will be charged international fees.
  • Globally, just 3% of refugees reach university. In the UK, barriers such as ineligibility for student loans make it hard for refugee and asylum-seeking students to fulfill their academic potential
  • Asylum-seekers are usually not allowed to work while awaiting a decision on their claim. As a result, many decide to work illegally to support themselves and their families, which gives exploitative employers a tool of control to threaten workers who are undocumented, or who do have status but are unsure of their rights. 
  • Evidence shows that the right-to-work checks have forced migrants to take on work that is more exploitative and less safe. Undocumented migrants surveyed by JCWI in 2021 said that right-to-work checks were the Hostile Environment policy that had most affected them.

figures from:https://www.jcwi.org.uk/work-it-out-policy-briefing

Although permission to work will be granted to asylum seekers whose claim has been outstanding for more than 12 months through no fault of their own, they are limited to restricted jobs on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), published by the Home Office. This list primarily consists of specialized roles e.g. 'Chemical scientists – only jobs in the nuclear industry' , 'Veterinarian', 'Arts officers, producers and directors' etc... This hardly tackles the issues faced by asylum seekers as mentioned above as it still prevents many to work within their own suited profession field.

This is not only tragic for the refugees, but it causes an unnecessary charge on the public purse. No one is winning like this. 

So let's make it a win-win; Let asylum seekers work, illuminate the shortage of skilled jobs, and save taxpayers' money.

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Signatures: 143Next Goal: 200
Support now