Community Study Day: Working rights for people in the asylum system

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Event details

Tuesday 26 March 2024
Workroom 3, The Wave, The University of Sheffield, 2 Whitham Road, Sheffield, S10 2AH
This event is free to attend, but attendees must register


The Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with the Lift the Ban Campaign, invite you to a community study day.

People who have made an application for asylum in the UK can wait years for a final decision on their case. While they wait for a decision most of them cannot work. By law, people who have been waiting for 6 months or more for a decision on their claim can obtain a work permit. But they are only then allowed to work in jobs on the shortage occupations list, a highly restrictive list which excludes a majority of people. In effect,then, there is a ban on working for people seeking asylum in the UK. 

The effects of this ban can be devastating for individuals, who have no choice but to receive asylum support welfare payments which force them into a situation of poverty. Asylum support is currently £49.18 per week. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has calculated that an unemployed single adult in the UK requires £86 to eat regularly, travel on public transport, buy sundries such as toiletries, washing-up liquid and hair cuts, phones, internet, and clothes. The government justifies both limits on the right to work, and meagre welfare support payments on the basis that anything more will act as a ‘pull factor’ for more people to come to the UK to seek asylum.

This community study day is for anyone who wants to learn more about and discuss issues around asylum and the right to work. It aims to share knowledge from different perspectives, from people who are themselves awaiting a decision on their asylum application, to NGOs, campaigners, potential employers, and academics.

On the day we will learn together about:

  • the employment rights, and barriers to employment, for people in the asylum system in the UK;
  • what the impacts of this policy are (social, economic, political, individual); 
  • why a near ban on working was introduced by politicians;
  • what the opportunities for bringing change might be. 

The event is free to attend and everyone is welcome. Please register for free at the link. 


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