Rights and obligations of the operator

If you are 21 or above, you can start a sex work business in the Netherlands; for example, a window rental business, an escort agency, an (erotic) massage parlour, or a sex cinema.

The term ‘operator’ is often used for the employer/owner of such a business.

What does an oparator need to arrange?

  • You need a citizen service number (BSN)
  • You need to register at the Chamber of Commerce
  • You need to register with the Tax and Customs Administration and keep proper records
  • Depending on the municipality and the general municipal bylaws, you must apply for a permit
  • You are not permitted to give information about the sex worker in your employment to third parties without permission
  • You must provide a safe and healthy workenvironment (e.g. admit the municipal health service for STI testing).

When you are not from an EU-country the rules are different

You need a valid residence permit with the annotation ‘work as an independent’. You may need a visa. The rules differ for different lengths of stay.
Check out all you need to know at this website.

What are you not allowed to ask or demand as an oparator?

(Both as an employee and under opting-in)

  • Stipulate what kind of sex the sex worker has with the client, including forcing them to work without a condom
  • Stipulate when and where a sex worker has an STI test
  • Force the sex worker to accept a client
  • Stipulate what clothing a sex worker wears (except for workers in paid employment)
  • Require the sex worker to use alcohol or drugs while working or with the client
  • Stipulate other work (extra jobs) that are not in the employment contract.

Paid employment

Specific obligations

There are two things that the operator does have the right to stipulate for sex workers (in paid employment):

  • Set a work schedule, taking into account the Working Hours Act
  • Stipulate what clothing should be worn during working hours.

What are you not allowed to do asn an operator in case of paid employment?

  • Not pay out a salary when there are only few clients
  • Withhold extra money from a salary without reason
  • Keep extra earnings for additional work done by sex workers themselves.


Specific obligations

What are you not allowed tot do as an operator under opting-in?

  • Stipulate the sex worker’s working hours (this can be decided in consultation)
  • Stipulate what clothes the sex worker wears
  • Prohibit a sex worker to work for other operators
  • Impose a fine.
Sekswerk is werk


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