Help for refugees and asylum seekers to understand their rights
Choose Language
  • Default
    Reset
  • Afrikaans
    Afrikaans
  • Albanian
    shqip
  • Amharic
    ኣማርኛ
  • Arabic
    عربي
  • Armenian
    Հայերէն
  • Azerbaijani
    آذربايجانجا ديلي
  • Basque
    euskara
  • Bengali
    বাংলা (baɛṅlā)
  • Belarusian
    Беларуская мова
  • Bosnian
    bosanski
  • Bulgarian
    български (bãlgarski)
  • Catalan
    català
  • Cebuano
    Sinugboanon
  • Chichewa
    Chicheŵa
  • Chinese Simplified
    中国简化
  • Chinese Traditional
    中國傳統
  • Corsican
    corsu
  • Croatian
    Hrvatski
  • Czech
    čeština
  • Danish
    dansk
  • Dutch
    Nederlands
  • English
    English
  • Esperanto
    Esperanto
  • Estonian
    eesti keel
  • Filipino
    filipino
  • Finnish
    suomi
  • French
    français
  • Frisian (West)
    Frysk
  • Galician
    Galego
  • Georgian
    ქართული (kʻartʻuli)
  • German
    Deutsch
  • Greek
    ελληνικά
  • Gujarati
    ગુજરાતી
  • Haitian Creole
    Kreyòl ayisyen
  • Hausa
    حَوْس
  • Hawaiian
    ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi
  • Hebrew
    עִבְרִית
  • Hindi
    हिन्दी
  • Hmong
    Hmong
  • Hungarian
    Hungarian magyaChichewar
  • Icelandic
    Íslenska
  • Igbo
    Igbo
  • Indonesian
    Bahasa Indonesia
  • Irish (Gaelic)
    Gaeilge
  • Italian
    italiano
  • Japanese
    日rus本語
  • Javanese
    baṣa Jawa
  • Kannada
    ಕನ್ನಡ
  • Kazakh
    Қазақ тілі
  • Khmer
    ភាសាខ្មែរ
  • Korean
    한국어
  • Kurdish
    Kurmanji
  • Kyrgyz
    قىرعىز
  • Lao
    ພາສາລາວ
  • Latin
    Lingua Latina
  • Latvian
    latviešu valoda
  • Lithuanian
    lietuvių kalba
  • Luxembourgish
    Lëtzebuergesch
  • Macedonian
    македонски
  • Malagasy
    Fiteny Malagasy
  • Malay
    Bahasa melayu
  • Malayalam
    മലയാളം
  • Maltese
    Malti
  • Maori
    te Reo Māori
  • Marathi
    मराठी
  • Mongolian
    Монгол
  • Myanmar (Burmese)
    ဗမာစကား
  • Nepali
    नेपाली
  • Norwegian
    norsk
  • Pashto
    پښتو
  • Persian
    فارسى
  • Polish
    polski
  • Portuguese
    português
  • Punjabi
    ਪੰਜਾਬੀ
  • Romanian
    limba
  • Russian
    Русский язык
  • Samoan
    Gagana Samoa
  • Scots Gaelic
    Gàidhlig
  • Serbian
    српски
  • Sesotho
    seSotho
  • Shona
    chiShona
  • Sindhi
    سنڌي
  • Sinhala
    සිංහල
  • Slovak
    slovenčina
  • Slovenian
    slovenščina
  • Somali
    af Soomaali
  • Spanish
    español
  • Sundanese
    Basa Sunda
  • Swahili
    Kiswahili
  • Swedish
    svenska
  • Tamil
    தமிழ்
  • Tajik
    тоҷики
  • Telugu
    తెలుగు
  • Thai
    ภาษาไทย
  • Turkish
    Türkçe
  • Ukrainian
    Українська
  • Urdu
    اردو
  • Uzbek
    أۇزبېك ﺗﻴﻠی o'zbek tili ўзбек тили
  • Vietnamese
    tiếng việt
  • Yiddish
    ײִדיש
  • Xhosa
    isiXhosa
  • Yoruba
    Yorùbá
  • Zulu
    isiZulu

Jobs

We want to support refugees and asylum seekers to rebuild their lives in Wales. Being able to find a job is an important part of this process. Not everyone will have the right to work in the United Kingdom. The UK Government decides who is allowed to work in Wales. Before you can work you will need to have been given the right to work and be given a National Insurance Number.

If you do not have the right to work in the UK, you should still have the right to volunteer with a charity, a Council or other government department. You can find out more about volunteering at the Volunteering Wales website.

This section of the website explains who has the right to work and where help can be found.

Accordion
Title
Adults seeking asylum – awaiting a decision
Body

Asylum seekers are usually not entitled to work in the United Kingdom. You may be able to gain the right to work if the UK Government has taken more than 12 months to decide your asylum claim. You must show that the delay is the UK Government’s fault. The right to work would only be for jobs which are included on the UK Government’s ‘Shortage Occupation List’. For these reasons, most asylum seekers will not be able to work unless there are recognised as refugees.

If you work in the United Kingdom as an asylum seeker without the UK Government giving you the right to work, you will be breaking the law.

Whilst you are waiting for a decision on your asylum application, you can get help to learn the English or Welsh language. See the Education for All Ages page for more information.

If you do not have the right to work in the UK, you should still have the right to volunteer with a charity, a Council or other government department. You can find out more about volunteering at the Volunteering Wales website.

Title
Young asylum seekers
Body

Asylum seekers are usually not entitled to work in the United Kingdom. You may be able to gain the right to work if the UK Government has taken more than 12 months to decide your asylum claim. You must show that the delay is the UK Government’s fault. The right to work would only be for jobs which are included on the UK Government’s ‘Shortage Occupation List’. For these reasons, most asylum seekers will not be able to work unless there are recognised as refugees.

If you work in the United Kingdom as an asylum seeker without the UK Government giving you the right to work, you will be breaking the law.

Whilst you are waiting for a decision on your asylum application, you can get help to learn the English or Welsh language. See the Education for All Ages page for more information.

If you do not have the right to work in the UK, you should still have the right to volunteer with a charity, a Council or other government department. You can find out more about volunteering at the Volunteering Wales website.

Title
Granted refugee status
Body

Once you have been recognised as a refugee, you should have the right to work in the United Kingdom. There are several ways to look for work. Job opportunities can be found through local newspapers, websites, job agencies or by visiting ‘Job Centre Plus’. Job Centres are found in most towns in Wales. If you need help with finding a job you could try visiting your local centre. ‘Careers Wales’ also offers career advice to people aged 16 years and over

You may need to prove to an employer that you have the right to work in the United Kingdom. You can find more information about how to prove your right to work at the UK Government website.

ReStart

The Welsh Government will launch the ‘ReStart: Refugee Integration’ project in 2019. It will provide help to refugees who are seeking jobs in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham. This website will be updated soon to provide more information.

Employers

Employers must treat their workers equally. This means that refugees should receive the same pay as a Welsh person if they are doing the same job. This also means that men and women should receive the same pay for the same job. If you think you are being treated unfairly, you can find advice through the ‘Equality and Human Rights Commission’.

Employers must pay the ‘National Minimum Wage’ to most of their workers.  This is the minimum pay you should receive for your work. The minimum wage you would receive is based on your age and type of job. National Minimum Wage rates are explained on the UK Government website

In most cases you will have the following rights when working for an employer in the United Kingdom:

  • You must be paid at least the ‘National Minimum Wage’
  • Your employer must not make illegal deductions from your pay
  • You must receive payslip which explains your wage and any deductions
  • You should receive a list of the main terms and conditions of your job 
  • You have the right to a certain amount of paid time off work each year.
  • You have the right to take paid time off for antenatal care, maternity, paternity and adoption leave  
  • You must be granted daily and weekly rest breaks, and you usually cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours a week
  • You should not be dismissed or treated unfairly at work if you become a ‘whistleblower’.   This is someone who exposes suspected wrongdoing in their workplace.
  • If you have been working for an employer for at least a month, they must give you notice if you are to be dismissed 
  • If you are dismissed while pregnant or on maternity leave then you must receive a written explanation of the reason from your employer
  • If you are a part-time worker, you should have the same contractual rights as a full-time worker (in a similar role). You may not receive the same entitlements.
  • If you are a fixed-term employee, you should have the same contractual rights as a permanent employee in a similar role
  • You have the right to submit a request for flexible working (After six months)

More information on rights you can expect to receive at work can be found on the Citizens Advice website

Qualifications

You may have qualifications or experience in a particular job from your home country. If you want to do the same job in Wales, you may need to get your existing qualifications recognised by organisations in the United Kingdom. An organisation called UK NARIC can help with this but you may need to pay. More information about how UK NARIC can help can be found at their website.

National Insurance

If you have a job in the United Kingdom, you must pay National Insurance Contributions. To do this you must have a National Insurance Number. If you have the right to work but do not have this number, you can apply for a number at the ‘Job Centre Plus’. Once you receive your number, you must give it to your employer. National Insurance Contributions help to build your access to a state pension and maternity or paternity pay. It also  funds services like the National Health Service (NHS).

If you cannot find a job, you may need to apply for social security support (also known as welfare benefits). Visit the Money section of this website for more information.

Title
Refused asylum seekers
Body

If you have had your asylum application refused, you will not be entitled to work in the United Kingdom. 

If you do not have the right to work in the UK, you should still have the right to volunteer with a charity, a Council or other government department. You can find out more about volunteering at the Volunteering Wales website.

Once you have been refused asylum, you will not be able to work legally or receive welfare benefits. See the Money section for more information about support for refused asylum seekers.

Title
Resettled refugee
Body

If you have been resettled as a refugee, you should have the right to work in the United Kingdom. There are several ways to look for work. Job opportunities can be found through local newspapers, websites, job agencies or by visiting ‘Job Centre Plus’. Job Centres are found in most towns in Wales. If you need help with finding a job you could try visiting your local centre. ‘Careers Wales’ also offers career advice to people aged 16 years and over.

You may need to prove to an employer that you have the right to work in the United Kingdom. You can find more information about how to prove your right to work at the UK Government website.

ReStart

The Welsh Government will launch the ‘ReStart: Refugee Integration’ project in 2019. It will provide help to refugees who are seeking jobs in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham. This website will be updated soon to provide more information.

Employers

Employers must treat their workers equally. This means that refugees should receive the same pay as a Welsh person if they are doing the same job. This also means that men and women should receive the same pay for the same job. If you think you are being treated unfairly, you can find advice through the ‘Equality and Human Rights Commission’.

Employers must pay the ‘National Minimum Wage’ to most of their workers.  This is the minimum pay you should receive for your work. The minimum wage you would receive is based on your age and type of job. National Minimum Wage rates are explained on the UK Government website

In most cases you will have the following rights when working for an employer in the United Kingdom:

  • You must be paid at least the ‘National Minimum Wage’
  • Your employer must not make illegal deductions from your pay
  • You must receive payslip which explains your wage and any deductions
  • You should receive a list of the main terms and conditions of your job 
  • You have the right to a certain amount of paid time off work each year.
  • You have the right to take paid time off for antenatal care, maternity, paternity and adoption leave  
  • You must be granted daily and weekly rest breaks, and you usually cannot be forced to work more than 48 hours a week
  • You should not be dismissed or treated unfairly at work if you become a ‘whistleblower’. This issomeone who exposes suspected wrongdoing in their workplace.
  • If you have been working for an employer for at least a month, they must give you notice if you are to be dismissed 
  • If you are dismissed while pregnant or on maternity leave  you must  receive a written explanation of the reason from your employer
  • If you are a part-time worker, you should have the same contractual rights as a full-time worker (in a similar role). Though you may not receive the same entitlements)
  • If you are a fixed-term employee, you should have the same contractual rights as a permanent employee in a similar role
  • You have the right to submit a request for flexible working (After six months)

More information on rights you can expect to receive at work can be found on the Citizens Advice website.

Qualifications

You may have qualifications or experience in a particular job from your home country. If you want to do the same job in Wales, you may need to get your existing qualifications recognised by organisations in the United Kingdom. An organisation called UK NARIC can help with this but you may need to pay. More information about how UK NARIC can help can be found at their website.

National Insurance

If you have a job in the United Kingdom, you must pay National Insurance Contributions. To do this you must have a National Insurance Number. If you have the right to work but do not have this number, you can apply for a number at the ‘Job Centre Plus’. Once you receive your number, you must give it to your employer. National Insurance Contributions help to build your access to a state pension and maternity or paternity pay. It also funds services like the National Health Service (NHS).

If you cannot find a job, you may need to apply for social security support (also known as welfare benefits). Visit the Money section of this website for more information.