SWU - Sex Workers' Union - World's Oldest Profession, Australia's Youngest Union.
Scarlet Alliance - Australian Sex Workers Association

Please complete survey below or download and print.

Award Modernization Survey

DUE BY 23rd February 2009

Please complete the survey below and describe as accurately as you can what your working conditions are or have been. If you represent an organization, please treat each question as if the “you” means “sex workers in your area”.

Who are you and who do you represent? (Choose one)
Individual sex worker representing self
Sex worker project/organization representing # of sex workers in location
Other - Please describe
Classification and Minimum Wage Rates

How is your job classified or described?
(Choose one scenario, and fill out another survey if you work for more than 1 place)

Sub-contractor at a brothel/escort agency/dungeon/phone sex office/strip club
Employee at a brothel/escort agency/dungeon/phone sex office/strip club
Private sex worker/dominatrix/phone sex/stripper
Not Sure - Please describe

If you work in a workplace or split the amount the client pays with management, how is the money divided?
(Choose one)

50/50 split (e.g. from a $100 job you receive $50)
60/40 split (e.g. from a $100 job you receive $60)
Other - Please Describe

Is the split different for day shift compared to night shift? (Choose one)

Yes - Please describe

Does the management ask you to pay for anything while you are at work?
(Choose one or more as appropriate)

Condoms and Lube
Shift fees
Money to rent clothes etc
Fines if I am wearing the wrong clothes or wrong nail polish
Fines if I’m late or miss a shift
Other- Please describe

Are there any deductions taken from your percentage of the split before you receive your share? (Choose one)

Yes - Please describe

Do you receive any other benefits, financial or otherwise in the workplace?
(Choose one or more as appropriate)

Extra for escorts
Free condoms/lube
Free food and drink while on shift
Dress ups and toys that I can borrow for free
Keep all extras and tips from clients
Other - Please Describe

Describe how “extras” are managed in your workplace.

Who does the cleaning in your workplace? (Choose one)

Reception Staff
Other – Please describe

How does cash change hands in your workplace? (Choose one)

The client gives it to the receptionist, they give the client the correct change, and the client gives it to me
The client gives it to me, it doesn’t get given to the receptionist at any time
The management/receptionist gives it to me

If the management or receptionist receives the payment (including your percentage) from the client, when are you paid? (Choose one)

At the beginning of each job
After each job
At the end of the shift
At the end of the week

If the client uses ATM or credit card facilities are you paid differently? (Choose one)

Yes – Please describe
Hours of Work

How long is a standard shift at your work? (Choose one)

We don’t have standard shifts
6 hours
7 hours
8 hours
9 hours
10 hours
12 hours
Split Shifts

How are your shifts organised/arranged? (Choose one which best describes your situation)

I arrive when I want to and leave when I want to – they never know when I am coming in.
I tell them when I am working, I always get the shifts I want.
I am told which shifts I am working
I request shifts and they tell me which ones I have
I stay there and am available 24 hours when I am there

Are you able to change your shifts if you need to? (Choose one)


Are there any conditions on your shifts / shift changes? (Choose one)

Yes – Please describe

How long in advance are the rosters done? (Choose one)

Not at all
One week
Two weeks
Other – Please describe

How much do you influence when you work? (Choose one)

I get to decide when I work
My boss decides when I work
Its a compromise
Other – Please describe

How many breaks do you have? (Choose one)

None, I’m available all the time
One break per shift
More than one break per shift

Who is in control of the breaks? (Choose one)

I have a break whenever I want
I can only have breaks at certain times

Are you provided with any meals/drinks with your break or shift? (Choose one)

Only on day shift
Only on night shift

We want your comments!

Do you have, or have you experienced, any other conditions of employment in the sex industry as a sex worker and/or striptease artist that you would like to see included in a Sex Industry Award?

Do you want to add anything else?

Thank you for completing this survey.
For more information, please contact:

Keith Matthew
Assistant General Secretary
0433 182 840

Melvin Robins
Media Contact
Ph: 0423 142 040

SWU Consultation for Award Modernization

The Federal Government is creating industrial Awards that will be the minimum conditions for all employees in Australia. These Modern Awards are being created along each “Industry” such as Mining, Education, Retail and Racing Industry.

The Sex Industry has only one industrial Award, covering only part of the Industry, called the Striptease Industry Conditions Award. The award applies to striptease artists, strippers, pole dancers etc. The Federal Government has instructed that all employees should be covered by an industry based Modern Award with conditions no less than what they currently enjoy, at no extra cost to employers.

This means that sex workers across Australia can help ensure that our current employment conditions are documented and can be legally enforced. It will also provide a benchmark which employers will be measured against to ensure what they offer is better, and no worse than those outlined in the Award.

In order to gain a greater understanding of working conditions for sex workers in different areas we are collecting input from sex workers.

Award Modernization FAQ

What is an Award?

An Award (also called Industrial Award, or Safety Net Award or Modern Award), is a legal document that sets out the conditions of employment, minimum pay, allowances and employer/employee rights and responsibilities. Over the last 100 years, these have taken many different forms and meanings; the most recent being that the Awards are a Safety Net Award with employers and unions expected to negotiate local agreements above the award conditions.

What is Award Modernization?

Julio Gilardio, the federal Minister for Industrial Relations, gave instructions to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to “Modernize” all industrial Awards. He explained that “Modernize” means to create a new set of awards to replace all other federal awards. There will be a lot less Modern Awards and they must cover all employees other than senior management.

How will a Sex Industry Award affect me?

A sex industry award will lay out and document what our basic, currently employment conditions are. It will be used to check local enterprise agreements against, and also used to check contracts against, to make sure they aren’t unfair contracts. It will set out the minimum conditions of employment only. It doesn't set the price of sex industry jobs just the minimum percentage or cut for each job.

Will it apply to all sex workers and strippers?

We don’t know yet. It might apply to sub-contractors, it might not, at this stage this isn't clear. What we do know is that all brothels, agencies and venues that are run by a registered company (trading corporation), will all be covered by the award. If you work for a business that is run by a sole operator or partnership, then the award may not yet apply but may do so after few years of the award being set up. It is the federal governments intention for all non-public sector workers to fall under the federal system, but this hasn’t happened just now.

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