Decriminalising sex work is often mistakenly seen as complete deregulation of the sex industry. This is not the case: decriminalisation removes the police as regulators while allowing other authorities to regulate the sex industry. WorkSafe Victoria is one such authority, with regulatory responsibilities that would be retained if Victoria decriminalised sex work.
Legislation and Enforcement
Creating a healthy and safe working environment for sex workers depends not only on legislation, but also on its enforcement by relevant authorities. WorkSafe Victoria has the power to inspect licensed brothels to ensure they comply with occupational health and safety laws. Anybody can report a workplace hazard to WorkSafe Victoria. When this occurs, an inspector may visit and, if necessary, commence enforcement action. Such visits are known as Responsive Visits.
Hazards in Licensed Brothels Identified by WorkSafe Inspectors
Records of WorkSafe Victoria inspections are known as Entry Reports. Entry Reports between 2007 and 2018 reveal the types of hazards reported to WorkSafe Victoria.
- Data extracted from Entry Reports as a result of Responsive and Compliance visits.
- Eleven year period: 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2018
- Reported hazards only included if they resulted in an inspection.
- Data relates to licensed brothels. Excludes Victoria’s estimated 500 illegal brothels.
- Hazards listed are alleged. Includes reports unsubstantiated upon inspection.
Last updated: 6 October 2019