What can Australian Sex Workers do if impacted by COVID-19?
By Mayfair Confidential
What can Australian Sex Workers do if impacted by COVID-19?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is undoubtedly tragic for the thousands affected, with Governments around the world having to act swiftly and assertively to protect vulnerable people. With the Australian governments stimulus packages and latest national restrictions combined with awareness campaigns like ‘Stop The Spread‘, lets hope we start seeing a reduction in the numbers of confirmed cases.

There is no doubt that the adult industry in Australia is struggling. Whilst there are some small gaps in the new restriction (like no strict ban across all adult services) many sex workers are still applying there own industry instinct to protect themselves by ceasing all sex work. Seeking to wait it wait it out like many of us.

Whilst we have seen an increase of camming and online performer sign-ups, this is only good  for those that have this skill set available to maintain an income noting this type of work isn’t for all adult service providers. With this in mind, we reached out to Arianna Gold, a Erotic massuese who said that:

“Not all SW is the same nor does it require the same skill set. They are all unique with the risks different. …It’s not that easy, it’s like telling a Stripper to just become a FSSW or an erotic Massuese to become a porn star.”

Whether some sex work is a second income – a ‘side hassle’ or  full time employment, we recommend that anyone looking to join a content based platform to be mindful of the pros and cons.

In addition to the above, the amazing team at Scarlet Alliance has lead the creation on the ‘Emergency Support Fund for Sex Workers‘ in Australia – posting on their Twitter:

“If you would like to support sex workers suffering from loss of income at this time, Scarlet Alliance and our Member Organisations have launched a fundraiser for our community. All funds go directly to sex workers who need them. Please share widely”

Now more then ever our community needs assistance. Not only from the public and industry bodies but from our government. Whilst its pleasing to see that the government is continuing to support people and business, we take a look at whats available from the latest stimulus packages.

What stimulus support is available for Sex Workers during COVID-19?

You should check to see if you are eligible for any relief noting that the Federal Government only last week announched second economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In short, some of the relief relating to people affected by COVID include:

  1. Income support payment
  2. Household support payment
  3. Access up to $10,000 tax free from your super (be sure to register with MyGov first)
  4. Avoiding eviction from your premises for the next 6 months
  5. Emergency, crisis and legal support

Click here to find out how the ATO is supporting individuals. Moreover, you may also be able to get relief on loans and bills by contacting your bank or provider.  It’s possible that the Government may have announcements in the future such as whether taxpayers may be given further assistance. We will of course keep an eye out on any developments.

How to become entitled to government support as a Sex Worker?

For those facing financial difficulty they may find themselves eligible for Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker. However you will need to satisfy a certain criteria. Therefore please enquire with Centrelink about the relevant income tests that apply to your personal circumstance.

Some good news is that asset testing for the JobSeeker (Newstart)  Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and also the Parenting Payment (single and partnered) will be lifted for the duration of the Coronavirus supplement, noting that claims can be issued from 31 March 2020 if the claim is granted. Its also worth noting you can receive both the Coronavirus supplement as well as the JobSeeker Payment (which has since doubled), the Youth Allowance JobSeeker or the Parenting Payment.

In further good news for some, the Australian government also announced in its most recent stimulus update of the proposed ‘Job Keeper’ allowances.

Whether you operate as a sole trader or individual, there are multiple ways to take advantage of government assistance so you can get through this COVID-19 crisis.

Team MC

Photo Supplied by JJ Harrison