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A lapdancer is an employee not a contractor

In  Quashie v Stringfellows Restaurants Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) reversed the decision of an Employment Tribunal and held that a lap dancer was an employee and not an independent contractor.

The EAT found that because Ms Quashie had to turn up for unpaid meetings on Thursdays, she had to dance when placed on a rota and she had to perform stage dances when at work that there was a mutuality of obligation sufficient to determine that she was an employee.

Whilst the facts and location of this case make it an amusing one to share, the interesting part is that the Claimant worked under an umbrella contract that covered each separate engagement that she worked for the Respondent. At face value this appears to be an independent contractor relationship. As, however, these contracts continued and were reissued in accordance with her work rota, the EAT concluded this was an employment relationship and not a genuine independent contractor arrangement.

This case emphasises the need for contracts to reflect the arrangement in practice to avoid confusion about a worker/employee’s status as the courts appear to take an increasingly inclusive approach about who falls within the definition of “employee”.

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