Today sees the launch of the #LiftTheBan report on why people seeking asylum should have the right to work.
The report, which can be found here, calls on the Government to give asylum seekers and their adult dependents the right to work after waiting six months for a decision on their claim. The report also calls for employment options to be unconstrained by the ‘shortage occupation list’.
For the report, a survey of 246 people with direct experience of the asylum process was undertaken. In this, 94% of respondents said that they would like to work if they were given permission to do so, whilst 74% had secondary-level education or higher and 37% held an undergraduate or postgraduate university degree. Results also showed that 65% of respondents were working before they came to the UK.
As Nahla, an accountant from Egypt, explains in a story in the Guardian today, being unable to work whilst her asylum claim was processed had a profound impact on her and her family. “I wanted to feel that I was worth something. If I was allowed to work, I could have supported myself and my son. I could have been able to be independent, I could have lived a normal life.” As she has now been granted refugee status and is able to work, she describes herself as feeling “human again“.
Further coverage in the Guardian today reveals that up to £42.4 million could be recouped if the Government lifted the ban. Research by British Future shows that 71% of the British public are in favour of such a change.
The Lift the Ban coalition is made up of over 80 organisations including NACCOM. Together we are urging the Government to restore the right to work for people seeking asylum. There are lots of ways to support the call for change:SIGN THE PETITION TODAY SHARE THE REPORT WITH YOUR MP DOWNLOAD THE ACTIVISM PACK