Sex industry jobs which could lead to exploitation will be banned from Jobcentres, Minister for Employment Chris Grayling announced today.
The move will serve to protect people who are anxious to get work from feeling they have to consider jobs that they aren’t comfortable with. Jobcentre Plus will implement an immediate ban to certain jobs and Ministers will push through legislation to enshrine the commitment.
Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said:
It’s absolutely wrong that the Government advertises jobs that could support the exploitation of people. We’ve taken immediate action today 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.
Jobcentre Plus will no longer advertise jobs that involve the direct sexual stimulation of others because publicly funded services should not be a conduit to this work. The ban would cover such jobs as lap dancers, web-cam performers, and strippers. However, Jobcentre Plus will continue to accept other vacancies in the retail, manufacturing and distribution sectors of the industry. A cleaning job in a lap dancing club could still be advertised for example.
The ban follows a public consultation that revealed significant public concern about Jobcentre Plus advertising jobs in the sex industry. The consultation also indicated that the people who worked in this industry could be vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. The change in policy will also serve to protect people who use Jobcentre Plus services from taking jobs where they could experience this.
Notes to Editors:
- Before 2003 Jobcentre Plus’ policy was to refuse all adult entertainment industry vacancies. The policy was challenged by Ann Summers Ltd who successfully argued in the High Court that the particular blanket ban then operated by Jobcentre Plus, which excluded Ann Summers Ltd vacancies, was unlawful. Since then Jobcentres have had a policy of accepting vacancies in this sector, though subject to certain safeguards.
- The policy change means Jobcentre Plus would refuse to accept vacancies where the job involves the sexual stimulation of others. This will include jobs as lap dancers, web-cam performers, topless barmaids and strippers etc.
- However, Jobcentre Plus would continue to accept other vacancies in a personal services business. So, for example, they would take a vacancy for a cleaner in a lap-dancing or striptease club. Jobcentre Plus would also continue to accept vacancies in the retail, manufacturing and distribution sectors of the industry.
- This will be an interim measure as the Government intends to bring forward primary legislation to give a statutory basis for the restriction - ensuring that the statutory position is clarified.
The full Coalition Government response to the consultation is available on the Department’s website at: www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2008/adult-entertainment-jobs/