The Home Office announced on 24 December 2021 that care staff will soon be added to the Shortage Occupation List.
Unless they have an existing right to work when they apply, asylum seekers can only work whilst waiting for a decision on their claim if they have been waiting for more than 12 months and the delay is not their fault.
Once 12 months have passed without a decision, asylum seekers can apply to the Home Office for the right to work while their claim is being considered. These applications are usually granted but with an important caveat: they can only work jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. It is a limited list of jobs, which shuts out many asylum seekers from work altogether.
However, the imminent addition of the role in SOC Code 6145 (care workers and home carers) to the Shortage Occupation List will provide an opportunity for many more to work while they await a decision on their claim. Notably, this would not require the employer to obtain a Skilled Worker licence or to pay above minimum wage.
Please note, this addition is described as temporary and is expected to last 12 months.
If you are an asylum seeker and want to apply for the right to work, contact our friendly team today for advice and assistance.