SWU Consultation for Award Modernisation
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 Modernisation 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 Modernisation?
Julia Gillard, the federal Minister for Industrial Relations, gave instructions to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) to “Modernise” all industrial Awards. She explained that “Modernise” means to create a new set of awards to replace all other federal awards. There will be alot 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.