Stringfellows lapdancer in unfair dismissal case paid the club £65 to perform and gambled on making money from tips

  • Nadine Quashie, 29, won landmark legal battle in April where she successfully claimed employee status
  • Miss Quashie paid £65 a night to Stringfellows but ended up out of pocket if the club was quiet and punters refused to tip

By Larisa Brown

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Former Stringfellows lap dancer Nadine Quashie, 29, is fighting against a bid to get an employment tribunal ruling overturned

Former Stringfellows lap dancer Nadine Quashie, 29, is fighting against a bid to get an employment tribunal ruling overturned

A former Stringfellows lap dancer performed for 'wages' so poor she often ended up with less money than she started after a night's work, it was heard today.

Nadine Quashie's working terms while dancing at Stringfellows and Angels clubs in London were allegedly so miserly she 'often' ended up out of pocket or empty-handed at the end of the night.

The 29-year-old won a landmark legal battle in April, becoming the first stripper to successfully claim employee status and sue for unfair dismissal.

But now Stringfellows are seeking to have that ruling overturned, arguing she could not have been an employee because her working terms were such that she was 'often' actually paying the club to let her to strip there, rather than vice-versa, London's Appeal Court heard.

A vital step on the way to mounting an unfair dismissal claim was the Employment Appeal Tribunal's (EAT) recognition that she was indeed an 'employee' of Stringfellows Restaurants Ltd, something which they had vehemently denied.

Miss Quashie, of Greenford, west London, was to seek up to £63,000 in compensation when her case went back to the original tribunal.

She worked at Stringfellows and Angels clubs in London during 2007 and 2008.

 

Thomas Linden QC, for Stringfellows, said his clients had 'no wage/work bargain' with Miss Quashie, of Greenford, West London, because the terms under which she worked were such that she sometimes ended up out of pocket after working a full night.

'On the nights when she was dancing at the club, she danced for the customers and they paid her. Stringfellows had no obligation to provide her with work or to pay her anything,' the QC said.

'On the contrary she had to pay the club a fee of £65 to dance there, plus commission on her earnings from customers, plus fines for breaches of club rules, plus a tip out fee to the house mother, such that Miss Quashie often didn’t make any money or made a loss on a night’s work.

Stringfellows are arguing they had no wage/work bargain with the lap dancer

Stringfellows are arguing they had no wage/work bargain with the lap dancer

'There therefore was no wage/work bargain between the parties such as is required for employed status,' added the barrister.

'She was free to take as much or as little holiday as she chose. She was free to chose whether or not to work. She was also free to work for a competitor. There were not the mutual obligations and the Court of Appeal ought to interfere.'

John Hendy QC, for Miss Quashie, told the judges: 'She worked for Stringfellows as a dancer. There was a contract between them.

'Stringfellows’ business is the provision of adult entertainment to its customers, in the form of female dancers such as Miss Quashie who dance clothed, semi-clothed and nude both on stage and in private booths.

'The dancers receive payment for doing so. The dancers also sit and talk to customers for payment. Stringfellows’ business depends upon the work of women dancers like Miss Quashie on every occasion on which their premises are open for business.

'The work of dancers like Miss Quashie generates a substantial part of Stringfellows’ revenue ...(they) are an integral part of Stringfellows’ business, without which it could not function.'

Addressing the claim that little or no wages meant no employment contract, he concluded: 'These days it is not uncommon for people to agree to work for no pay, to gain work experience for example.

'She could agree to dance to Stringfellows’ tune, if that allowed her to dance at the club to enhance her reputation, to keep her hand in, or for networking.'

Lord Justice Ward, hearing the appeal with Lord Justice Elias and Lord Justice PItchford, found some of what he heard today puzzling.

Telling the court about his understanding of the day to day life of a Stringfellows Angel, he said: 'I am gradually getting filled in on the duties of laptop dancers. The punters pay for their happy vouchers and they are stuck in the girl’s garter, and then she goes off to the cashier and says here’s my vouchers, give me my money.'

Miss Quashie, 29,had claimed she was wrongly fired by the Covent Garden nightclub in December 2008 over allegations of drug dealing.

The Appeal Court hearing continues.

 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

If she's paying them £65 per night to "perform", then she's effectively self employed and just renting space in which to tout her business. If she couldn't even cover her running costs It's her fault and nobody else's. Were I to rent a market stall and not sell enough to pay for it do you really think I'd be able to sue the market?

Click to rate     Rating   47

Think it was more likely she was out of pocket because of her looks.

Click to rate     Rating   21

IS NOT BECAUSE SHE KNOWS SHE IS AT THE END OF HER CAREER CHOISE AND FEELS SHE HASN'T MADE ENOUGH SHE WANTS TO TAKE A LITTLE PENSION TOUGH LUCK GET A PROPER JOB

Click to rate     Rating   16

The brits are too tight fisted to pay good money to ogle a bit of flesh. They want everything for nothing. Lesson to be learned. And remember the owner of the club is a Yorkshire man - "how muuuuch??"

Click to rate     Rating   13

There is always ASDA!

Click to rate     Rating   21

Obviously not too good at dancing etc etc.

Click to rate     Rating   15

I suspect Stringfellows' argument will fail on one crucial point. If they are claiming that she is self-employed, then one of the tests in law for self-employment is that the contractor (the dancer) can send in a substitute if they can't make it. So, if she truly was self-employed, she could send it a 24 stone bricklayer called 'Wayne' to do a bit of lapdancing, and Stringfellows could do nothing about it. If they were to object to 'Wayne', then she is automatically an 'employee'.

Click to rate     Rating   7

There appears to be a contradiction, if she wasn't paid by the club, then she didn't work for them but if she didn't work for them, they wouldn't have been able to fire her. The place is a dive anyway and needs closing down.

Click to rate     Rating   17

Does your " Headline" mean she paid Sringfellows to "strip off"? Would this be just Pete stringfellow, or some of his employees? Perhaps we are to infer she paid the club to allow her to strip off.

Click to rate     Rating   7

It's amazing what low light levels must do for these ladies, not seen one in a day light photo who I would consider to be beautiful

Click to rate     Rating   7

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