Asylum seekers permitted to work more

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Asylum seekers may now work 24 weeks per year, the social affairs ministry announced Wednesday.

13 February 2008

THE HAGUE – Asylum seekers may now work 24 weeks a year, the social affairs ministry announced Wednesday. Until now people awaiting the outcome of an asylum procedure were only allowed to work 12 weeks a year.

The measure does not apply to asylum seekers whose procedure has been pending for less than six months. As in the past these asylum seekers are not permitted to work at all.

A maximum of 14 weeks a year applies for artists, musicians, film workers and technical workers in these sectors. The period of 24 weeks is in line with the latitude provided by the Unemployment Act and the Work and Income according to Labour Capacity Act.

Employees who work 24 weeks a year or less are not entitled to unemployment or incapacity benefits. Those in artistic professions do not have to wait as long as others to be entitled to unemployment benefits. That is why asylum seekers in these professions are restricted to a shorter period of permitted work.

The government had already agreed on these changes in May 2007. The law has now been amended and Social Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner set the date for the changes to take effect.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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