Sexy sauna job ad sparks row at French employment service
France’s employment service has agreed to carry an announcement for a job in a sexy sauna after the boss accused it of discrimination in the media. Unions now fear that claimants could lose their benefits if they turn the offer down.
A job centre in the Normandy town of Evreux found itself the centre of a media storm after it refused to advertise a job at the Equatorial Sauna in the town.
The advertisement explained that candidates would have to clean, receive customers, maintain equipment, change towels and work at the bar and stipulated that they must be “discreet and open-minded”.
Boss Guillaime de Thomas, who runs several such saunas, went to the press and threatened to sue the jobs service for discrimination.
Regional employment service boss Thierry Lemerle responded by declaring that the agency had only objected to the job description, which “implied that the employee should not be shocked by libertine activities” and was thus discriminatory against certain job-seekers.
De Thomas claims that, when the story hit the media, the labour ministry called him to ask to calm things down.
On Wednesday the job centre agreed to carry the announcement, saying that the disagreement had been due to a misunderstanding.
Now job centre workers’ unions are criticising that decision.
Their bosses have caved in to media pressure, they say, insisting that the job offer is “ambiguous”?
“How can we guarantee that the job-seeker who turns down this kind of offer is not struck off?” asked trade unionist Dominique Simon.
Claimants can lose benefits if they refuse two “reasonable’ offers of employment.
In 2010 unions objected when an offer of work with a telephone sex-line turned out to be for a strip-tease artist.