News Local Decree widens employment criteria for asylum seekers

Decree widens employment criteria for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers in Cyprus will be allowed to seek employment in a total of seven sectors of the economy, including the hotel and restaurant sector under a new government decree, Phileleftheros reports.

The decree issued by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou allows the employment of asylum seekers on condition they secure a work contract with a specific employer who must be up to date with social insurance payments and take out employer liability insurance covering work accidents.

The sectors cover agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, animal shelters, animal food production units, bakeries and milk producing factories, porters, haulage, chicken abattoirs and sewage and recycling plants.

Also permitted is work at petrol stations and at car repair units.

In addition, asylum seekers can apply to work as cleaners, as distributors of flyers, food delivery and as gardeners.

In the hotel and catering sector they can work in the kitchen and in the laundry room.

Asylum seekers have long been canvassing for full access to the labour market, beyond farms and car washes, in order to be able to provide for themselves and not rely on benefits.

Under the Refugee Law issued of October 2018, asylum seekers are permitted to access the labour market one month after the submission of an asylum application.

Prior to the issue of the new decree, access to employment was more restrictive..

In 2018, there were 7,761 asylum seekers registered in Cyprus.

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