Majority (67%) of British business leaders surveyed agree that people seeking asylum should be able to work after waiting 6 months for a decision
A new poll by Survation on behalf of Refugee Action and the Lift the Ban coalition has examined the attitudes of business leaders in the United Kingdom towards allowing those seeking asylum to work.
Currently people seeking asylum are not allowed to work while the Home Office processes their claim and they can only apply for permission to work if they have been waiting for over 12 months for a decision. The majority of business leaders expressed positive attitudes towards changing this rule and highlighted how UK businesses might benefit from increased diversity and skills that those seeking asylum could bring to the workforce.
Slightly more than two-thirds (67%) polled supported the idea of granting those seeking asylum permission to work after waiting six months for a decision
The poll revealed that slightly more than two-thirds (67%) of the participants agreed that those seeking asylum should be given permission to work if they have been waiting for a decision on their asylum claim for over six months. Only a relatively low number of respondents (13%) disagreed with the statement while 18% did not express a distinct opinion, saying they neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. A further 2% stated they were not sure.
Majority (71%) of respondents agreed it would help integration if people seeking asylum were allowed to work
The majority of respondents (71%) considered the integration of those seeking asylum to be important and agreed with the statement that it would help integration if they were allowed to work if their claim takes more than six months to process. On the other hand, only 12% disagree with the statement; whereas 16% polled neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement, and 2% stated they did not know.
Two-thirds (66%) of participants would consider hiring those seeking asylum if the government were to grant them the right to work
The poll revealed that two-thirds (66%) of respondents agreed with the statement to consider hiring asylum seekers if they met the skills needed to fill a vacant role at their business and if the UK government were to grant them the right to work in the UK from six months after their claim had been submitted. On the other hand, only 12% polled disagreed with the statement and a further 19% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.
Two-Thirds (66%) polled believe that allowing those seeking asylum permission to work could help ease the skills shortage in the UK
Furthermore, as was the case with other questions related to the right to work of people seeking asylum, when asked if the skills shortage in the UK could be eased by granting them the ability to work from six months after their claim for asylum has been submitted, two thirds of business leaders (66%) agreed with this statement. On the other hand, only 11% disagreed and 20% didn’t have a specific inclination. Additionally, only 3% responded that they didn’t know.
Majority (64%) of Business Leaders believe that people seeking asylum could bring benefits to the workforce in terms of diversity of experiences and skills
Finally, when questioned if they believed that people seeking asylum could bring benefits in terms of diversity of experiences and skills if they joined the respondents’ workforce, the majority of them agreed (64%) whilst only a small portion (11%) disagreed. Additionally, 22% didn’t have an inclination by responding ‘Neither’ and only 3% of them didn’t know.
This final question highlights that there is strong support among business leaders towards granting those seeking asylum the right to work six months after the submission of their asylum request, and about how the UK in general, and the respondents’ workforce in particular, could benefit in terms of diversity and skills.
Survation conducted an online poll of 1,006 business leaders in the UK on behalf of Refugee Action and the Lift the Ban coalition.
Fieldwork was between 29th April – 1st May 2019.
Data tables and methodology can be found here.
Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
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