Table of Contents
- Can EU employers hire refugees coming from Ukraine?
- Who is eligible for employment in the EU and for how long?
- Can employers outside of the EU hire refugees coming from Ukraine?
- How can I prepare to hire and support refugee job seekers?
- How can my job postings effectively reach refugees?
- What are the benefits of hiring a refugee?
Can EU employers hire refugees coming from Ukraine?
Yes: The European Commission issued the Temporary Protection Directive to support those fleeing the war in Ukraine. As part of this directive, starting March 4, 2022, people fleeing Ukraine are provided protection and support if arriving in one of 26 member states of the European Union.* The rights under this temporary directive include access to housing, medical assistance, education for children, as well the labor market.
Each EU member state will follow the European Commission’s Operational Guidelines to establish registration processes and systems to afford these rights to people who arrive in their countries from Ukraine. Refugees will need to request a residence permit for temporary protection and follow the process in that country to receive work authorization.
*The Temporary Protection Directive applies in all EU Member States except Denmark. It does not apply in Schengen-associated countries (Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland).
Who is eligible for employment in the EU and for how long?
Individuals who were permanently residing in Ukraine prior to the invasion are entitled to temporary protection and employment opportunities in any of the 26 participating EU countries. These protections will last for at least one year and may be extended depending on the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Check here for updates on extension of the Temporary Protection Directive.
Can employers outside of the EU hire refugees coming from Ukraine?
Work authorization for those fleeing Ukraine is different in countries outside of the EU. To check for work authorization for refugees in your country, refer to your government’s information about temporary protected status for those fleeing Ukraine.
UK: Click here to learn more
U.S.: Click here to learn more about Temporary Protected Status and here to learn more about other immigration avenues.
Canada: Click here to learn more
How can I prepare to hire and support refugee job seekers?
For some refugees, entering the workforce in a new country may be challenging after arrival. It’s important for employers to understand these challenges and prepare for how you will hire and support refugee job seekers. Ultimately, these challenges are surmountable with preparation and connection to the available resources.
Psychological and emotional trauma
The experience of fleeing one’s home to escape danger can create serious psychological and emotional trauma. Consider how you will accommodate and support refugees’ mental health needs in the aftermath of this trauma.
Limited language proficiency
Many refugees may not have language proficiency in your country. When it comes to language, employers should consider what positions are available and if there are opportunities to provide employment for individuals who aren’t proficient in the local language. Employers can also explore avenues to assist new hires with developing local language skills.
The European Commission is offering support to help people arriving from Ukraine to acquire the necessary skills to enter the EU job market, including language courses. Click here to learn more about the support.
Transferability and recognition of qualifications and skills
People fleeing Ukraine may have the necessary training and skills to perform a job for which you are hiring, but they may not hold the formal education or corresponding permit to hold that job in your country. Consider if there are positions that do not require licenses that those fleeing Ukraine can fill, while your company assists new hires in obtaining the locally required occupational license.
In addition, the European Commission is developing new guidelines to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications obtained in Ukraine. This will make it easier for employers and training institutions to understand the skills of Ukrainians arriving in the EU. The European Training Foundation is establishing a site to help employers understand the qualifications of job seekers from Ukraine. Check for updates on those here.
Care for children and elderly family members
The vast majority of refugees from Ukraine at this time are women, children, and the elderly. Adult working-age women may be available for and need employment, but will need support for family care. Consider what subsidies or support you can offer these job seekers to help them to get and stay on the job.
Access to transportation and relocation resources
A number of European transport companies (rail, bus, ferry, and air travel) have been offering free transport for people fleeing Ukraine. Track available transportation assistance here. However, job seekers may need additional resources to relocate or to reunite with their families. Your company should consider what kind of relocation assistance you can provide new hires that are fleeing Ukraine.
Legal documentation (e.g., licenses, passports, etc.)
Employers should be aware that, due to dangerous circumstances, refugees may have left home quickly without their documents, including passports or licenses. Potential employees may need additional time to work with local authorities to validate their status as a result. You may consider contacting your local government to determine whether alternate forms of documentation are acceptable to establish right to work or contact relevant professional organizations for advice on documentation of specific qualifications for individuals fleeing the war.
With critical evaluation of these special challenges and some preparation, employers can hire refugees and ensure their success.
How can my job postings effectively reach refugees?
To reach refugee job seekers, there are a number of steps you can take when crafting your job postings:
Post jobs for free* on Indeed
Indicate the language requirements for the job and if you offer language training
Indicate if you offer relocation or other forms of assistance referenced above
In addition, to support connecting refugees with employers, the European Commission is launching a web-based EU Talent Pool for displaced people from Ukraine to match skills with job vacancies. Click here to learn more about the Talent Pool.
*Terms, conditions, quality standards, and usage limits apply.
What are the benefits of hiring a refugee?
As an employer, you will be able to contribute to the refugee resettlement process in a receiving country by providing a learning environment for those fleeing their home country. A learning environment includes providing opportunities to learn about your country’s culture, opportunities to communicate in the language of the receiving country, development of new skills, as well as providing financial support and autonomy to those in need. In addition, employers will benefit from the skills and talents of those coming from Ukraine.