January 04, 2009

Who Said Nobody's Hiring?

At least some business is brisk in the UK.

Women's groups last night said the revelations were effective proof that job centres were providing a path into prostitution for out-of-work customers.

All job centres across the UK have been forced to advertise adult entertainment posts since 2003 after the High Court ruled that a previous ban was discriminatory.

But ministers are now considering whether to place new restrictions on the practice to ensure the Government is not inadvertently providing a "pimping" role in the huge prostitution industry.

An investigation by this newspaper of job centres in Scotland last week found several adverts for adult entertainment jobs. There was no suggestion that any of the positions involved prostitution and they fell within the criteria for advertising in job centres.

One centre in Edinburgh was offering job-seekers the opportunity to become a lap dancer at a city-centre location in the capital, guaranteeing an above minimum wage.

Also advertised was a 32-hour-a-week job as a pole dancer in Glasgow on a "self-employed basis".

The adult entertainment industry insists that it adopts strict working safeguards, which ensure that employees are not exploited. Employers also point out that workers in the industry willingly take on such jobs and are not coerced.

But there is now clear evidence that some applicants are being asked to perform "sexual services".

Two cases were uncovered in the past year, the DWP has said. In the first case, the job in question was subsequently withdrawn from the job centre list of vacancies. In the second, the employer was warned about the standards required and was then allowed to continue to advertise.

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