Asylum Seekers May Work in UK Six Months After Arrival to Address Labour Shortages

Plaid Cymru proposes amendment to Illegal Migration Bill allowing asylum seekers to contribute to economy and society

Asylum seekers may be granted permission to work in Britain six months after their arrival under a proposed amendment to the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill, set to be outlined tomorrow (Wednesday 26th April). The move, championed by Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts, aims to help address the UK’s labour shortages while allowing refugees to contribute to the economy and society during the consideration of their applications.

The proposal, which is due to be debated and voted on if selected by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is part of Plaid Cymru’s amendment to the Illegal Migration Bill, returning to the Commons this afternoon. Liz Saville Roberts, who will unveil the plan, says the move could provide a “much-needed boost to our economy” and help tackle labour shortages brought about by Brexit.


According to Plaid Cymru’s amendment, asylum seekers who have been detained for six months or more would be allowed to apply for permission to work, including self-employment and voluntary work. Saville Roberts claims that the right to work is a “fundamental human right” and that it is essential for asylum seekers’ wellbeing and integration into society. She also emphasises the benefits to the economy, as businesses would gain access to the skills and experiences of asylum seekers.

Plaid cited research indicating that nearly seven out of 10 British businesses support allowing asylum seekers to work sooner. Harriet Protheroe-Soltani, of the Welsh Refugee Council, added that asylum seekers possess many valuable skills that could contribute to the United Kingdom, and granting them the right to work would facilitate their full integration into the country.

MPs are expected to approve the overall Illegal Migration Bill when it returns to the Commons tomorrow (Wednesday 26th April). However, the government is likely to face a challenging battle in the Lords, as Tory peers have warned Home Secretary Suella Braverman of their intent to oppose the controversial bill. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also expressed concerns about the plan, arguing that it risks breaching international human rights obligations and exposing people to serious harm.

Original News Link

What’re your thoughts on the article.