Asylum Seekers could contribute to the economy


Faith leaders join to call on the government to allow Asylum Seekers to work in Britain…

Under current rules, people seeking asylum are prevented from working while their claims are being processed. The Home Office aims to deliver decisions within six months, but almost half wait for more than six months, with some waiting years.

Asylum seekers can only apply for permission to work if they have been waiting for a decision for more than a year and, even then, only for jobs that are on a restrictive list.

Faith leaders believe strongly that the quality of life of Asylum Seekers is hindered because of these laws. Together they decided to write a letter to the government calling for these laws to be

No one will disagree that people who are fleeing war or persecution should be given somewhere safe, where they can rebuild their lives. But due to Government policy, getting here is the only start of their problems for many people who arrive in Britain. Banned from working, asylum seekers are given just £5.39 a day to meet all their essential living costs. The struggle to make ends meet, coupled with the social isolation experienced by many, takes a toll on their physical and mental health. We must ensure we provide a route out of poverty for those seeking asylum. Enabling people to work gives them the dignity of being able to provide for themselves and their families. They can also use their skills to contribute to the economy. As leaders of religious communites representing diverse faiths and believe systems, what unites us is compassion. We welcome the efforts of the Lift the Ban coalition and belive it is time asylum seekrs were allowed to start working in the UK six months after their arrival. Ahead of today’s Westminster Hall debate, we call on the Government to make this common sense change.


Signed by:

Bala Gnanapragasam

Vice President, Methodis Conference,

Dr Eddie Friedman Executive Director

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality

Imam Qari Asim Chair,

Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board

And 13 others



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