Access to the labour market for applicants for international protection - IHREC - Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Access to the labour market for applicants for international protection

In May 2017 the Supreme Court held that in circumstances where there is no time limit on the asylum process, the absolute prohibition on seeking employment is unconstitutional. On 9 February 2018 the Court made a declaration striking down the relevant legal provisions.

In response to the Supreme Court judgment, the Government has indicated its intention to opt-in to the recast Reception Conditions Directive, which provides, inter alia, for access to the labour market for international protection applicants.

This paper first sets out the Commission’s observations on the interim scheme for access to the labour market following the Court’s declaration, which has been in effect since 9 February 2018. It then outlines a number considerations which should inform the provision of effective access to the labour market for asylum seekers in the context of the State’s intention to opt in to the recast Reception Conditions Directive.