bgs final report_spa and wellness industry

According to the driver some therapists receive only

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Unformatted text preview: ted through our interview with a taxi driver20. According to the driver, some therapists receive only $10 out of a $35 per hour session. This is hardly enough for the therapists to get by if they worked in shifts, and especially when customer volume is low. Through the interview with Adrian Au, he also mentioned that spa workers in most small firms are paid from $300 to $800 a month, which hardly enough for them to survive in Singapore. As a result, these therapists provide ‘special services’, ranging from $30 to $100, to make a quick buck21. Ethical Analysis Samantha Foster said that “there is a general perception that sex is often tagged on to Asian spas, and that is hard to change.” Sexual services would not be available if there was not a demand for it. SAS and the recently formed Spa and Wellness Association of Singapore (SWAS) can only monitor and regulated the industry to a certain extent. Corporate culture “helps define the “normal behaviour for everyone who works in a company”22. The issue of sleaze can be attributed to firms that base their business models upon Milton Friedman’s view of business responsibility: Profit maximization. Firms thus carry with them the mentality that “since other firms are 18 Appendix H - Undercover interview of receptionist at Dickson Spa Centre about Shirley 19 Appendix G - Sammyboy Forum: List of therapists who offer sexual services in Sasha Spa, Shirley and Yuki from Dickson Spa Centre http://www.sammyboyforum.com/showthread.php?t=33975& page=7 20 Appendix I - Interview with taxi driver, Mr X 21 Appendix C: Interview with Mr James Tan and Mr Adrian Au, owners of Balik Kampung Spa 22 Anne T. Lawrence, James Weber and James E. Post (2005) Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy, 11th edition, Page 109 5 allowing it (sleaze) to increase profits, why can’t we do so too?” The assumed consequence is that firms pay only the minimum allowed wage and nothing more. This leads to therapists who do not earn a decent salary and their only probable recourse is to proffer ‘special services.’ There is still a lack of adequate government initiatives to crack down and prevent spas from operating without proper regulation. This will result in the proliferation of more ‘sleazy’ spas. The convenience and accessibility of spas boost business efficacy but this comes at a high social cost. For therapists who offer ‘special services’, they are unwittingly exposing themselves to the high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And in the event that therapists do contract STDs, spa operators would deny any liability to them since the therapists’ contractual role was to provide massages and the like, instead of sexual services. What rights do the therapists then have as employees when they have to conform to the corporate culture of the company, yet deprived of any right to medical incentives just because the cause of their illnesses was not a result of the performance of the contract (that as a therapist)? One of the key issues mentioned at the AsiaPacific Spa Leader’s Roundtable 2006 was to “improve the perception of spa as [a] professional [job]… [and not as a] low-status job…” 23 If spas continue to offer ‘special services...
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