Belgium legalises employment contracts for sex workers

The Belgian parliament passed a law on Thursday that will allow sex workers to enter into employment contracts, granting them benefits such as guaranteed working hours and wages.

In June 2022, Belgium became the first European country to decriminalise sex work, and only the second in the world after New Zealand. The reform introduced a gradual decriminalisation, initially only legalising self-employed sex work. 

The law passed on Thursday will allow sex workers to work as employees, giving them access to social security and guarantees on working hours and pay.

The law also includes safety guarantees, such as sex workers being able to refuse certain acts or clients without it being grounds for dismissal, and an emergency button in every room. 

Employers will need to have a clean criminal record and guarantee that a reference person will be present at all times. Anyone who employs sex workers outside the legal framework will still be liable to prosecution.



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