‘A moral stance on adult industry jobs’By Sarah Dave
August 10, 2010
Budding bare-breasted bar staff and lapdancers looking for a place to writhe will have to search for positions somewhere other than job centres.
The Government announced it is to ban Jobcentre Plus advertising sex industry vacancies because it could lead to exploitation.
The move is aimed at protecting people desperate for work from considering jobs they aren’t comfortable with and publicly funded services should not be a conduit to this work, ministers say.
Jobcentre Plus will implement an immediate ban while the related legislation is pushed through.
While the move – which bans the advertising of jobs involved in the direct sexual stimulation of others – affects work like lap dancing, webcam performances and stripping, vacancies in the industry’s retail, manufacturing and distribution sectors such as a cleaner in a sex club would be fine.
A disapproving jobseeker pre-empted the coalition’s new policy when he sent in this vacancy for webcam performers which he said he saw advertised at Reading’s Jobcentre Plus branch in May.
The advert required a dirty-talking nude or semi-nude man, woman or couple with their own broadband internet connection.
“With the amount of people looking for work, I think it is not appropriate for the DWP [Department for Work & Pensions] to advertise this kind of work,” he said.
“It should be done in some other discreet way.”
Employment secretary Chris Grayling said: “It’s absolutely wrong that the Government advertises jobs that could support the exploitation of people.
“We’ve taken immediate action to stop certain adult entertainment vacancies from being advertised through Jobcentre Plus. We shouldn’t put vulnerable people in an environment where they’re exposed to these types of jobs and could feel under pressure to work in the sex industry.”
But Bill Donne, licence consultant for gentleman’s club Sugar Lounge, in St Mary’s Butts, Reading town centre, said he was disappointed with Mr Grayling’s comments.
“The Jobcentre should be advertising vacancies. He is taking a moral stance on the matter,” he said. “However, from a business perspective, I think it’s unlikely we would advertise in a Jobcentre so it would have very little effect on us.
“It’s a very small niche market and people come more from a dance background than anything else. It’s a legal activity, we are bona fide employers – not every club is run the same [but] all clubs run on very strict guidelines because we have to.”
Before 2003 Jobcentre Plus’ policy was to refuse all adult entertainment industry vacancies. But adult business Ann Summers successfully argued in the High Court this blanket ban was unlawful. Since then Jobcentres have accepted vacancies in this sector, though subject to certain safeguards.
The ban followed a public consultation that revealed concern about Jobcentre Plus advertising sex industry jobs. Feedback also indicated staff could be vulnerable to harassment and discrimination.
- What do you think of the ban? Perhaps you work in the adult entertainment industry and think this will affect your prospects.
We’d be particularly interested in speaking to strippers, lapdancers and web performers, in confidence.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0118) 918 3020.