DWP sidesteps answer to FOI request about sex workers and Jobcentres and Work Programme

A Freedom of Information request about work found in the adult entertainment or sex industry through Jobcentre Plus or the Work Programme has been neatly sidestepped by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Fri, 14 Mar 2014A Freedom of Information request about work found in the adult entertainment or sex industry through Jobcentre Plus or the Work Programme has been neatly sidestepped by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The FOI request was: ‘How many people have found work in the adult entertainment industry or sex industry through Jobcentres or the Work Programme in the latest period for which figures are available.’

The DWP response said that the government took action to ensure jobs in the adult entertainment industry which might exploit jobseekers were not advertised through Jobcentre Plus.

“The Welfare Reform Act 2012 ensured that vacancies which involve performing sexual activities were banned from being advertised on government websites and a distinction was made in law to differentiate between performers and ancillary workers, those people selling (retailing), manufacturing and distributing of adult entertainment products and ancillary staff eg. cleaners and bar staff.”

The response continues that the DWP does hold some of the information “falling within the description specified in your request, but this is not held centrally for ancillary workers”.

Further, because the DWP estimates that the cost of “complying with your request” would be more than the limit of £600, set for central government, in retrieving the information, “Under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act the Department is not obliged to comply with your request and we will not be processing your request further”.

So there.

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