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Labour to table bill giving asylum-seekers the right to work

LABOUR will table a Bill tomorrow to allow people seeking asylum in Britain the right to work.

The Bill put forward by Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West and supported by cross-party MPs would let asylum-seekers apply for work six months after making their claim for asylum.
 
Currently those seeking asylum can only apply for work a year after submitting their claim.

Even then applications are limited to those jobs on the government’s “Shortage Occupation List.” 

These include such roles as classical ballet dancer and nuclear waste disposer.

Ms West said that giving asylum-seekers the chance to work sooner and without being limited to the occupation list would help them escape poverty, rebuild their lives and integrate with their communities.

Ahead of the Bill’s launch, Ms West said: “An asylum-seeker receives £5.39 a day to live on – an allowance that needs to cover clothing, transport and food.

“I believe that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance of contributing to our society and integrating into our community.

“Giving asylum-seekers the right to work allows them to use their skills and live in dignity."

Lift the Ban campaign spokesman Paul Hook said they were delighted to see politicians from across Parliament supporting the campaign.

He said: “We urge the government to listen to these voices –including many from within their own party – and finally give people seeking asylum the right to work and to earn a living.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in December that the Home Office would review the policy of banning asylum-seekers from working.

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