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15 Dec 2022

Social service workforce

Recruiting people with refugee status

The SSSC and the Care Inspectorate have issued a joint statement and guidance for employers on recruiting people with refugee status.

Right to work

People who have been granted asylum and have formal refugee status have a right to work and claim benefits. This includes people from Ukraine, who have been granted the same rights for three years, with support to find work provided by the Refugee Employment Network.

The SSSC and the Care Inspectorate have a clear position on refugee recruitment which will help:

  • enhance employment opportunities for refugees and enhance equality and diversity
  • overcome recruitment challenges
  • enhance fairness and consistency of recruitment practice regarding refugees
  • uphold our commitment as regulators to support the flexible application of rules for people‚Äôs benefit.

Guidance for employers

Employers should follow this guidance when recruiting people with refugee status for paid or voluntary work in any registered social care service.

  • If professional references are not available, you should get a minimum of one character reference from their Scottish Refugee Council case worker or another suitable UK contact. For Ukrainians visiting as part of the Super Sponsor Scheme, you can request a reference from their case worker.
  • You should complete a PVG, even for people newly arrived in the UK. Although this may not provide any immediate information it means the person will then be subject to monitoring by PVG.
  • People you employ should not undertake lone working until successful completion of induction and a satisfactory review of the risk assessment you carried out when you first employed them.
  • Supervision and support for people you employ should have a particular focus on the standards and values set out in the Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers.
  • You should be satisfied they have sufficient English language skills or that learning is currently underway.

Contact information

Lorraine Wakefield
Communications Manager
Scottish Social Services Council