The decriminalisation of the sex industry in most Australian states and territories has resulted in a marked increase in the number of escort agencies. Like all business owners, those who operate escort agencies need an efficient client agreement that tells a potential client those terms and conditions under which they will provide the service. This article discusses the key terms every escort agency contract requires.
1. Legal Considerations
Your escort agency contract needs to outline how you meet all the legal obligations you owe prospective clients. Similarly, it must require that they affirm some legal issues vital to you.
The assurances you must make to a client include that:
- Your agency has complied with all appropriate laws concerning licensing and registration. For example, many states and territories require escort agencies to hold a licence;
- You do not employ escorts aged below eighteen, against their will or unless they hold a valid visa. Be sure to note the employment procedures your agency uses to verify these details;
- Your agency complies with all relevant legislation to ensure the health and well-being of your escorts. Inform the client that escorts regularly undergo health checks and that the agency will never knowingly provide an escort who could pose a health risk to a client;
- Your agency observes all its obligations under the Australian Consumer Law and any other applicable state or territory laws; and
- Your agency observes the Australian Privacy Principles as regards the collection, use and disclosure of all client information.
Your agreement must also specify those legal undertakings a client makes when they engage an escort. These include that:
- They are above eighteen;
- They will observe all the necessary safety practices for their particular service and follow all the directions of an escort (for example, a request for a shower);
- They will not use violence against an escort under any circumstance and will not interfere with an escort following standard agency procedures to verify their safety. For example, calling the agency at the start and end of every appointment;
- They will not request an escort to provide them with or take an illegal substance. Also, the client must not be under the influence of such a substance or heavily intoxicated during their appointment;
- They will not object or become violent if an escort ends their session or refuses to perform a service or accommodate a particular request; and
- The client is not suffering from a sexually transmitted infection at the time of engaging the escort.
2. Description of Services
Your escort agency agreement must specify what services you provide. Clarity minimises the risks of misunderstandings and disputes with clients. As such, it also protects the safety of your escorts.
List each and very service offered. Ensure that your descriptions are detailed, clear and accessible. For example, specify if a client can request more than one escort at the same time and if they can be of the same or different gender.
As a business, you need to limit your liability as much as is legally permissible. It is axiomatic that your clients want you to assume as much responsibility as possible.
As such, you need a clause that limits your liability within existing legal parameters. For example, that your agency does not accept liability for any damages on account of engaging an escort. For example, this might be any harm to a client’s reputation or health.
You should know best the risks to your business. Think about how to limit them within the law.
Your escort agency contract must detail how much and when a client needs to pay an escort. For example, you could include a price list for various services and insist that a client pays in full at the start of an appointment.
You may also specify how a client can pay an escort. For example, that they can only pay with cash or a credit card. Be sure to advise the client that your business name on a credit card statement will not reveal the nature of your services. You will also need to provide a receipt.
Your escort agency agreement must specify those circumstances when an escort or client can terminate the agreement. You must be clear about how termination will affect payment.
You must specify that an escort has the right at all times to refuse to engage in any practice that they are unwilling to do. For example, you could require a client who changes their mind about a service after entering into an agreement to pay for the appointment nonetheless.
Your escort agency contract should provide an appropriate and legally sound dispute resolution procedure that does not involve the escort. For example, in the case of disagreement, a client must always contact the agency rather than the escort. This should be included in the dispute resolution clause of the service agreement.
If you are running an escort agency and have any further questions, LegalVision has provided many businesses with tailored online legal advice. It would be our pleasure to assist you. Call LegalVision today on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.