Sex industry focus of new campaign in Victoria

13 August 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman will audit up to 100 brothels in Victoria over the next four months as part of a new education and compliance campaign.

Most audits will be conducted throughout Melbourne, however Fair Work inspectors will also scrutinise some businesses in Bendigo, Geelong and Shepparton.

The campaign will focus on the entitlements of clerical workers in the sex industry, namely licensed brothel managers and brothel receptionists.

Fair Work inspectors will check that clerical workers are being paid correct wage rates, penalty rates, overtime rates and annual and personal leave entitlements.

Inspectors will also assess whether any employees have been misclassified as contractors and check compliance with record-keeping and pay slip obligations.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully says the industry was selected for proactive auditing because intelligence received from various sources indicates that clerical workers in the sex industry can be reluctant to complain about their wages and entitlements.

“We are also conscious that the industry employs many young workers and workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights,” Mr Scully said.

“It is important we ensure these workers are receiving their full lawful entitlements.”

All brothels selected for audit will be provided with information and advice about workplace laws, including Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards.

Mr Scully says the campaign provides an opportunity for employers to improve their understanding of and compliance with workplace laws.

“If inspectors find minor or inadvertent contraventions, our preference will be to educate the employer and assist them to voluntarily rectify the issue,” he said.

Workers or employers seeking support should get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

Workers and employers can sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s eNewsletter at

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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