Austria: ‘Compulsory work for asylum seekers’; the problem is not laziness


The keyword is ‘compulsory work’, and the basic message is clear “in Austria, no one who receives anything – specifically basic welfare benefits” from the state should be lazy.

Services are only provided in exchange for work. This is basically the right thing to do, especially in the circumstances of the huge shortage in labour market.

What is not right, is to serve the narrative of asylum seekers who are unwilling to work. On the one hand, the demand for voluntary work among asylum seekers is already high. There are sometimes waiting lists in the centres. Secondly, the European Reception Directive has long obliged member states to give asylum seekers access to the labour market after nine months in the country. And Austria is already oblying this “asylum seekers can apply for a work permit three months after applying for asylum”. However, this is only granted if there are no nationals who want to do the job. In any case, the process takes up to six weeks. __reported by Die Presse