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Equal@Work Toolkit: Refugees inclusion into the Workplace, A Guide for Employers

This toolkit results from this year’s seminar on the inclusion of refugees in the workplace. We asked participants: how can employers create meaningful job opportunities for refugees?

Conscious of the complex legal and institutional landscape governing the reception, acceptance and integration of refugees in European states, participants acknowledged the limits of their own ability as employers to make change. The state, they argue, has the most capacity to determine how refugees are integrated into society. They also noted that ‘integration’ is a broad term and must be understood beyond that of labour market integration. It has also often carried with it an implication of an uneven burden on the person on the move to assimilate to the culture of the receiving society. Thus, the term ‘inclusion’ provided a space to reject assimilationist discourses in the seminar.

However, it also must be recognised that employers are active agents of inclusion when they offer opportunities for employment. Employers, by providing substantive, fair and quality employment can raise aspirations, develop individuals and promote economic independence and freedom; all pre-requisites for inclusion into wider society. The role of individual employers in the inclusion process is a vital yet underexplored issue.

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The Equal@work Platform, supported by ENAR Foundation, is a space in which a diverse range of employers - from the public and private sector, civil society, trade unions and political institutions - come together to explore progressive ways to operate workplaces that are open, equal and free from discrimination. Participants engage in discussions about issues of diversity from an anti-racist perspective, with a common goal of finding solutions to the pressing challenges facing employers.

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