• Asylum Seekers and Employment

    25 October 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about asylum seekers and employment.

    I recognise that this is a very important issue; the UK has a proud tradition of providing a place of safety for refugees. Each claim for asylum is carefully considered and where it is found that individuals are in need of protection, asylum is given.

    Asylum seekers are allowed to work, in jobs on the Shortage Occupation List, if their claim has not been decided after 12 months through no fault of their own. The current policy aims to strike a balance between being equitable towards asylum seekers, while considering the rights and needs of our society as a whole, prioritising jobs for British citizens and those with leave to remain here, including refugees. The Government is considering recent calls to change the current policy and is reviewing the evidence available.

    I should also mention that fully furnished and equipped accommodation is provided to asylum seekers with no utility bills or Council Tax to pay. Access to healthcare and schooling is free. In addition, while it is important to be mindful of the cost to the taxpayer, I am aware that the Home Office periodically reviews cash payments to ensure they continue to meet essential living needs. Following such a review, the amount someone claiming asylum support is now £37.75 per week for each person in the household. 

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon