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Next Government must give people seeking asylum the right to work

By June 13, 2024Press release

The Lift the Ban campaign – a coalition of more than 300 businesses, recruiters, trade unions, faith groups, economists and charities – has called on the next Government to commit to giving people seeking asylum the right to work.

Speaking on behalf of the Lift the Ban Coalition, Lou Calvey, Executive Director of Asylum Matters, said:

“The right to work should be on every party’s manifesto because it is common sense, vital for people seeking asylum and great for the economy.

“That’s why it has such huge support across our communities. Lifting the ban on people working is backed by 81 per cent of the public as well as businesses, trade unions, recruiters and faith groups.

“When people can work, they can more easily build their lives in our community and avoid the huge barriers to jobs and housing currently experienced by new refugees once their claim is successful.

“Importantly, the right to work would give the economy a boost that the next Government needs. Lifting the ban would increase tax revenue by £1.3 billion, reduce Government spending by £6.7 billion, and increase GDP by £1.6 billion, funding better public services for all of us.

“People seeking asylum do not come to the UK for labour market access, they come for reasons we can all understand – to be with loved ones, because they speak the language or due to colonial ties.

“The hostile environment has failed. The next Government must dismantle it, and that means giving people seeking asylum the right to work.”