Lap dancer - an employee?

The Court of Appeal was faced with the issue of whether a lap dancer was an employee or self-employed in Stringfellow Restaurants Ltd v Quashie.

Ms Quashie worked as a lap dancer intermittently at the defendant's clubs.  When she was no longer required she claimed unfair dismissal. 

Ms Quashie received cash or vouchers from customers for her work and was obliged to pay a daily fee to the club.  The club also took a commission of Ms Quashie's earnings.  Ms Quashie was subject to the rules of the club and was fined if she was late.  It was on this basis that the EAT concluded that Ms Quashie was an employee, as there was a form of contract in place for the nights that she worked and that the club was required to provide her with work.

The Court of Appeal overturned the EAT's decision on the grounds that there was no contract, due to the manner in which Ms Quashie was paid.  Ms Quashie was free to negotiate her own remuneration with the paying customers and had the risk of being out of pocket.  Despite there being some obligations under a contract present, the defendant had not been obliged to pay Ms Quashie any remuneration for the work that she did; an essential element of contract of employment.  

Posted on: 04/01/2013

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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