As jobs go, getting paid to taste ice cream sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? If only we could ignore that pesky small print...especially when it doesn’t make much sense!
As you might have guessed, we don’t reeeeally ask our future team members for unreasonable levels of patience, expertise in ballet, or fluency in Mandarin, but for people seeking asylum who are trying to work in the UK, it’s a different story.
Waiting Isn't working
Government policy effectively bans them from working while they are waiting for their refugee status—which can take months, and in many cases years! People are left in limbo, unable to provide for themselves or their families, and are prevented from becoming active members of their new communities.
At the moment, people seeking asylum are allowed to apply for the right to work 12 months after they’ve submitted their asylum claim. But, even then, they’re only allowed to apply for jobs on the really restrictive Shortage Occupation List—things like ballerina, nuclear medical practitioner, and Mandarin teacher. Really?!
The system is also highly complex and difficult to navigate, and many people get stuck inside the system with no resolution in sight. This puts the UK way behind the majority of European countries, plus the US and Canada, all of which give people seeking asylum the right to work.
Confused? Disappointed? We sure are.
At Ben & Jerry’s, we believe that banning people from working makes no sense! People who have fled war and violence want to get to work building a new life for themselves and their families. And yet, because of this law, they can’t. So…we were thinking, why not change the rules? Why not let them provide for their families and give back to the country that’s sheltered them? It’s so simple. It makes so much sense. And if can happen if we want it to.