Unlocking Potential: Why It’s Time to Allow Asylum Seekers to Work in the UK

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UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – A new analysis has found it is time to allow asylum seekers in the UK to work. Lifting the restrictions could save the UK economy billions each year. The UK Government is under a lot of pressure to lift the ban on people seeking asylum in the UK. A new analysis explains that the UK economy could grow a lot and it could add up to £1.6bn to its GDP every year if they change the policy. 

Cross-party MPs and other pressure groups have urged the government to axe the legislation to boost economic growth. They have been forced to fill labor shortages and support asylum seekers who have been stuck in the UK’s backlogged system.

Current Employment Laws for Asylum Seekers In The UK

Under current laws, asylum seekers currently living in the UK can only work after they have waited on their claim for more than a year. They are only allowed to take up jobs in a limited number of fields also. 

Analysis from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), reveals if the government allows all asylum seekers in the UK to work it could result in the growth of the economy for up to £6.7bn each year. It could also help with the increase in tax revenue by £1.3bn each year and also add £1.6bn to the UK’s annual GDP.

Apart from these rules there is debate going on among the MPs. Many believe that migrants arriving through legal routes can work without any restriction. The asylum seekers need protection and the Government can make a way for them. However, those who arrive illegally should not be given any privilege.

MPs From Major Parties Supporting The Policy Change 

Allowing asylum seekers to work could lead to economic gains of £4.4bn each year. It could also result in the addition of £1bn to GDP. A bill, proposed by the SNP, would allow asylum seekers to work after they have waited six months for their claim.

MPs from all of the major parties have been supporting the change in the policy change. Tory MP Ben Everitt feels that scrapping the ban could be the right thing and will also be a step in supporting vulnerable people. 

Genuine asylum seekers who have come to the UK to rebuild their lives should be allowed to play their part in the economy. The analysis shows that it can be beneficial for the country and will also prove how beneficial the United Kingdom is to the people who are looking to build a future.

Under the current legislation system, asylum workers can work only when the claim is outstanding for 12 months without any fault. There can be some exceptions though but after this time they can take a role on the Shortage Occupation List. It involves important roles in health and social care along with science. As the major parties seem to support the policy, asylum seekers may not get anything in their favour.

Read More: Unprecedented Rise in Aborted Pregnancies in England and Wales

Refugee Action Calls Out to ‘Lift The Ban’

Economic migrants can apply for a work visa that comes under the immigration rules. Everyone must follow these regulations to keep the immigration policy in control. The successive Governments are of the view that easing the working restrictions for migrants will only create problems. It will work as a pull factor and draw more people into taking this illegal journey. Moreover, it will increase bogus applications from people who are seeking good jobs. 

On the other side, Refugee Action is working on a long-running campaign to ‘Lift the Ban’. They claim there is no evidence of the ‘pull factor’ either. Most of the asylum seekers are not aware of the working rules before coming to the UK. Maria Stephens, head of campaigns at Refugee Action also believes that these working restrictions are senseless.According to Conservative MP Sally Ann, if some workers arrive by official means they can work as soon as possible.

However, the Government argues that it is not right to allow asylum seekers to work. It will only give them the right to bypass the work visa rules. The restrictions will only mean that there is a clear distinction for migration and asylum.  

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.