Under the terms of the 2003 Sexual Offences Act it is illegal to solicit for gain in a public place, which would include soliciting from a private doorway or window. It is also illegal to make gain from another’s prostitution i.e. forcing someone or expecting someone to have sex in return for payment.
This makes the ownership and running of an escort agency a careful undertaking. Most escort agencies do vet their employees. They are clear to state that they do not expect escorts to have sex with clients, and are only taking money for the escort’s time and for the arranging of the meeting. These terms are kept clear and concise as many Asian escorts or women from other countries may not know the language so well, and appear in a written contract signed by the employer and the employee. It is also worth considering in terms of making payment to escorts that all employees are treated as freelancers and take care of their own taxes; this will avoid any discrepancies with escort’s earnings above and beyond what has been paid to them.
As an agent, it is the management of the escort’s meetings with clients, not the escort’s services or the escorts as individuals. Gain from another’s prostitution is illegal, but an escort acting privately and independently means that such issues will not be raised. In fact, payment for sex for an individual working on private premises remains legal in UK law.
In terms of dealing with clients, it is advisable to never discuss the scope of services with them, it must be established that any such discussion should be between the client and the escort during their time together.
A legal and fair trading escort agency should act as a booking agent for the escort and a ‘lonely hearts club’ for the client. The intimacy of the meeting is something that does not need to concern an escort agency. Should an employee or client become involved in any illegal activity, the agency is then better protected from joint prosecution.