Employers Guide for Hiring Asylum Seekers

December 17, 2021

Friday 10 December 2021 was World Human Rights Day, the day when, in 1948, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also marks the day which a new employers guide for hiring asylum seekers was published. The guide, published by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in collaboration with Ibec and ICTU, encourages employers across Ireland to tap into the significant skills, experience and qualifications of people seeking asylum in Ireland.

Many employers are unaware that since June 2018 asylum seekers have been granted the right to work and may be missing out on the source of talent. Individuals in international protection come from a range of different countries with an array of qualifications, skills and experience, including significant language skills. Despite this however, people in the international protection system still face challenges in accessing employment.

The guide provides clear accessible information on how to employ people who are in the international protection system, people seeking asylum. It sets out:


  • What a person’s international protection status means for their employability.
  • Examples and experience from Irish based businesses such as software development company Zartis, and Deloitte Ireland.
  • How an employer can go about employing applicants.
  • What a Labour Market Access Permission is, what it looks like and how it allows access to employment, self- employment and vocational training.
  • Links to, and explanations of, the forms needed to employ someone seeking international protection.



Latest figures show that since July 2018, of the 9,187 people who applied for permission to work, 6,837 international protection applicants were granted permission to work. Based on employer return declaration forms, 60% or 4,091 are in employed or self-employed work. 2,913 people are living in Direct Provision and working. 1,178 are working and living independently.

Employers need people with qualifications, drive and experience. Utilising the skills and harnessing the talent offered by people seeking international protection can be an additional driver for the competitiveness and growth of business in Ireland and help us respond to the changing needs of our economy. This guide aims to support that by clearly answering the questions employers may have about how to engage and employ asylum seekers.