Statement on granting access for asylum seekers to the labour market

29 Jun 2018

Labour Market for Asylum Seekers

Congress notes the decision by the Government to opt into the EU Reception Conditions Directive and to grant access to the labour market for eligible international protection applicants from today – 29 June 2018. 

This has been a longstanding demand for Congress and has the potential to allow for the estimated 3000 people awaiting a first instance decision on their asylum application to live in dignity during this process.  For those who succeed in their application it will be advantageous in their integration into our workforce and wider society. 

It is a source of disappointment that people must wait for 9 rather than 6 months and that people who are appealing their decisions are not eligible.

This group of people may well contain vulnerable people and it will be incumbent upon the authorities to ensure that any attempts by unscrupulous employers to exploit or discriminate against these new entrants to our labour market are stamped out.

Finally, Congress welcomes these people to the workforce and notes that the best way to ensure their experience is a positive one, and one that vindicates their rights at work is to be a member of  a trade union.  Our movement remains a diverse and inclusive one and looks forward to welcoming new members from this cohort,  siad David Joyce, Congress Equality Officer.