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New Government Guidelines Say Massage Parlours Can Be Offered Incentives To Take On Young Jobseekers

Updated Work Programme guidelines say mandated "auxillary" work in saunas and massage parlours for 18-24s is acceptable.

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Wage incentives designed to get young people into work can be used by massage parlours, according to new government guidance.

Andreas Rentz / Getty

The latest update to the Department for Work and Pensions' Work Programme Provider Guidance has just been published.

The Work Programme was set up help get the jobless back to work. Under the scheme the Government pays private companies and charities - "providers" - to help the unemployed find work.

If a jobseeker on the Work Programme doesn't take up an offer of acceptable work, their benefits can be sanctioned.

The government has now issued new guidance to providers that lists of jobs in the "adult entertainment industry" which can benefit from a government subsidy of up to £2,275 if they employ a person for six months.

This is the list of jobs which are considered unacceptable.

Not entirely sure what a "cat fighter" is, but anyway.

Not entirely sure what a "cat fighter" is, but anyway.

And this is the list of jobs which are considered acceptable.


There appears to be a contradiction on massage parlours.

A job as a masseuse in a sauna or massage parlour is considered part of the "adult entertainment industry" and also "unacceptable", suggesting the DWP fears that this could be used as shorthand for being a sex worker in a brothel. It's illegal to keep a brothel in England and Wales (though the definition of what constitutes one is very hazy).

Yet jobs as ancillary workers in the same institutions, such as "receptionists or clearers", are considered acceptable.

All jobs have to be legal and legitimate to be advertised on government jobs websites and be eligible for schemes such as the Wage Incentive.This Government took action to ensure jobs in the adult industry which might exploit jobseekers were not advertised through Jobcentre Plus. We also ensured that to be eligible for our schemes jobs must not exploit vulnerable jobseekers.