Monday, January 31, 2005
Make prostitution legal and the government unemployment office becomes your pimp.
Such is the news relayed to us by Tim Worstall from Germany, where the combination of unemployment law reform and the legalization of prostitution apparently means a woman now can have her unemployment benefits cut if she refuses to take available work in a brothel.
A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year....German government bureaucrats can't tell a brothel from a bar?
Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit...
The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars.
That country does have problems.
As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse...
"There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry," said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases. "The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits."
Miss Garweg said that women who had worked in call centres had been offered jobs on telephone sex lines. At one job centre in the city of Gotha, a 23-year-old woman was told that she had to attend an interview as a "nude model", and should report back on the meeting...
Tatiana Ulyanova, who owns a brothel in central Berlin, has been searching the online database of her local job centre for recruits.
"Why shouldn't I look for employees through the job centre when I pay my taxes just like anybody else?" said Miss Ulyanova... [Telegraph]