In recent weeks, escalating fighting in Ukraine has forced millions from their homes. Around ten million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says.
As well as the 3.5 million who have left for neighbouring countries, another estimated 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.
In the UK, our government has launched the Homes for Ukraine campaign, where citizens can offer space in their homes to support Ukrainian refugees whilst they settle in the country. Individual sponsors will be asked to provide rent-free accommodation for a minimum stay of 6 months. In return, they are offered a tax-free sum of £350 per month. Ukrainians arriving in the UK under this scheme will be granted 3 years leave to remain, with entitlement to work, and access benefits and public services.
Over 100 major UK businesses, including Vodafone, Lush, Marks & Spencer and Asos, have said they will make thousands of jobs available for Ukrainian refugees.
In January, the BBC reported as many as one million missing workers were in the UK job market. The article reported that “many of the labour shortages in particular sectors have been attributed to a decline in the number of foreign workers in the UK. Because of a combination of Covid and Brexit, many EU nationals who worked in the UK have returned to their countries of origin.”
How can recruiters support Ukrainian refugees?
Employers should review their practices and processes to see what needs to be adapted to welcome refugee candidates. Recruitment agencies should be ready to work on offering a holistic support service for refugees who are fleeing trauma.
It is important that those dealing with candidates who are refugees do so with care and empathy, understanding that the candidate may be struggling with low confidence and anxiety. In this informative article, Nicola Inge, employment and skills director at Business in the Community (BITC) says: “By stepping up to train and employ refugees, employers will change lives for the better while addressing a business-critical issue in a very tight labour market.”
Information to Share
A group of legal professionals with immigration/asylum backgrounds and expertise are providing free UK legal advice to Ukrainian citizens affected by the current crisis. Advice is available on The Ukraine Advice Project UK website has information in Ukrainian and Russian.
The Disaster Emergency Committee has launched a Ukraine humanitarian appeal where you can donate to support Ukrainian families.
The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain are running a GoFundMe page to support Ukrainian refugees, they accept monetary donations to fund food, hygiene and medical packs, and other everyday essentials with specifications set by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.
The society for intercultural education, training and research (Sietar) is offering a free programme of cultural awareness training for those who may be assisting refugees and people seeking asylum from Ukraine in the UK.
HR Support for Recruitment Agencies
Our sister company, WeDo HR Support, offers tailored packages for businesses and recruitment agencies. The experienced team have up-to-date knowledge of best practices, processes, and regulations to give you practical advice and direction whenever you feel out of your depth or need to work within tight legislations.
Of course, you may already have staff or candidates who are affected by the situation in Ukraine. We can offer tailored advice to help you to support them.
Please share this information
It’s at times like this that we all need to support each other. If you feel that any of this information could help somebody you know, please share and spread the word.
If you would like to speak to the team from WeDo HR Support, please call them on 0330 900 8787