Lap dancer – an employee?
The Court of Appeal was facedwith the issue of whether a lap dancer was an employee orself-employed in Stringfellow Restaurants Ltd v Quashie.
Ms Quashie worked as a lapdancer intermittently at the defendant's clubs. When she wasno longer required she claimed unfair dismissal.
Ms Quashie received cash orvouchers from customers for her work and was obliged to pay a dailyfee to the club. The club also took a commission of MsQuashie's earnings. Ms Quashie was subject to the rules ofthe club and was fined if she was late. It was on this basisthat the EAT concluded that Ms Quashie was an employee, as therewas a form of contract in place for the nights that she worked andthat the club was required to provide her with work.
The Court of Appeal overturnedthe EAT's decision on the grounds that there was no contract, dueto the manner in which Ms Quashie was paid. Ms Quashie wasfree to negotiate her own remuneration with the paying customersand had the risk of being out of pocket. Despite there beingsome obligations under a contract present, the defendant had notbeen obliged to pay Ms Quashie any remuneration for the work thatshe did; an essential element of contract ofemployment.
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