UK Employers’ Guide to Hiring Refugees

Breaking Barriers

UK companies can do more to hire and integrate refugees into their workforce, filling key labor gaps while also seeing higher retention rates, increased diversity, and a strengthened brand and reputation. This guidebook has practical information for businesses to hire refugees in the United Kingdom, and was developed in partnership with Breaking Barriers, a UK organization that helps companies find and hire refugees.


Unemployment rates for refugees in the UK are startlingly high. In London, for example, refugee unemployment is approximately 70%, compared to a London-wide unemployment rate of around 4%. Left unaddressed, this poses a profound challenge for the United Kingdom, as participation in the labor market is the most important factor favouring long-term integration into society. At the same time, it presents a significant opportunity for UK companies to fill jobs in a tight labor market that may be made even tighter by Brexit.

The UK Employers’ Guide to Hiring Refugees is designed to assist companies interested in hiring refugees. It contains essential information related to refugee recruitment and employment, including:

  • Information on refugee populations in the United Kingdom
  • The business benefits of hiring refugees
  • Best practices for recruiting refugee employees
  • Common barriers – and solutions – to refugee hiring and integration
  • Case studies from WeWork, IKEA, and Mayer Brown