Rules that allow jobcentres to advertise sex related opportunities are being reviewed by the Government, Commons Leader Harriet Hatemen said today.
Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell is looking into guidelines that allowed more than 350 sex industry jobs to be advertised in Jobcentre Plus offices across the country last year.
Shadow Commons leader Theresa May said jobs included
topless semi-nude bar staff
During exchanges on future Commons business, May told MPs of Harman's quest to stop local newspapers advertising the sex trade.
She told Harman:
Pity you can't persuade the Work and Pensions Secretary to join your campaign. A new report shows that Jobcentre Plus advertised 351 vacancies in the adult entertainment industry last year, including adverts for topless semi-nude bar staff and nude cleaners.
Two jobseekers complained - they were asked to perform sexual services after contacting an employer about a vacancy advertised at Jobcentre Plus.
May demanded an end to this
hypocrisy within Government.
Harman, who is also Women's Minister, said:
I absolutely agree with you that there is no way that job centres should be used as a place for advertising jobs for sexual services, for lap dancing, for sex encounter establishments. I raised this with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions - he is reviewing the situation. We don't want any of those sorts of jobs in our jobcentres.
A bishop has whinged at advertisements for webcam girls which are being carried in the Job Centres of Doncaster.
The job advertisement offers women £10 an hour to sit in front of a webcam in the nude and engage in sexually explicit banter with customers.
The Department of Work and Pensions has confirmed the vacancies are legal and therefore must be advertised. However, adult entertainment jobs are clearly marked as not suitable for people aged under 18 and are only discussed with people who inquire about them.
But women's groups and the Bishop of Doncaster, the Right Reverend Cyril Ashton, have raised concerns that it exploits women desperate for an income who could end up being lured into prostitution.
Bishop Ashton said:
I am dismayed that this advert should appear in Doncaster's job centre. Our young women may feel pressurised to apply. It shows a gratuitous lack of respect for women and is entirely inappropriate.
Anne Fairclough, chairman of the south Yorkshire Women's Institute, spewed:
These type of adverts all interlink and can lead to the trafficking of women and making them extremely vulnerable. Adverts like these put pressure and tempt women into a life that could lead to abuse.
The advert says women need to be aged 18 be
friendly and outgoing
and able to work between 20 and 40 hours a week sometimes until 6am. The pay is £10 an hour with bonuses. Successful candidates would work from studios in Rotherham.
New Zealand-based Teli Escort denied the role was
adding similar adverts had run previously.
A spokesman said:
So far we've had no calls or complaints.
Personally I think the men who are silly enough to spend £1.50 or whatever a minute to use the service are the ones exploited. We're well within the law.
Scotland's Trade Union Congress has called for the abolition of
advertisement of sex industry vacancies by Jobcentre Plus, amid fears that rising unemployment could see vulnerable women lured by the promise of lucrative earnings.
A co-ordinated campaign by the nutters of Object, the Feminist Coalition against Prostitution, and women's group Eaves, has branded UK job centres as
Pimp Centre Plus
in protest against the growing numbers of "exploitative" posts on offer.
Latest statistics show the service advertised 351 roles within the adult entertainment industry, ranging from party planners selling sex toys and sex shop workers to strippers, topless models and even a
The legitimate advertising of jobs in the adult entertainment industry has been a major issue for feminist and nutter groups since a legal ruling in 2003 ordered that the sex shop Ann Summers could advertise its vacancies in Jobcentre Plus. Under the ruling, centres must carry any job vacancy as long as it is complies with the law.
Mary Senior, the assistant secretary of the STUC said:
"We're deeply concerned about attempts to normalise this because I think it's just perpetuating the objectification of women and certain attitudes - violent attitudes, abusive attitudes.
Many people who become involved in this sort of work are vulnerable, whether it's because of poverty, drug abuse or other sorts of substance abuse or other traumatic events which have happened in their lives. This so-called industry' preys on these types of women, and I think it's very disturbing.