Topless dancer in Stringfellows legal tangle

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Forget Patmore, a former accountancy and finance student is starring this week in what must surely be the employment and tax case of the year.

According to the Daily Mail, Lapdancer Nadine Quashie allegedly earned more than £1,000 a night dancing at the Stringfellows club London and is now trying to pursue an unfair dismissal through the Employment Tribunal after being fired in December 2008 following allegations of drug use and dealing.

According to the Press Association, Caspar Glyn argued on behalf of the club that the dancer was not entitled to rights under the tribunal as she was self-employed. “To take off your clothes and be paid to do that, it is a curious, unusual situation… which is perhaps in itself unsuited to an employment relationship,” he told the tribunal.

Aiming another blow below the belt, he added that Quashie should be disqualified from having her case heard because she had misrepresented her tax affairs – in spite of having studied accountancy and finance at Thames Valley University for a year.

She took two years off her studies to hold a full-time position as women’s rights officer for the student union, but instead of returning to the course she turned to lapdancing.

She has told the tribunal that conditions at the club effectively meant dancers were employees and she should be entitled to a full tribunal hearing. Like other dancers, she was required to give up 25% in commission, with an additional £85 deducted for nightly fees.

While Stringfellows insisted she was self-employed, Quashie said she did not learn of her self-employed status until another dancer told her of the situation five months after she started working there.

This case has everything for employment and tax advisers, HMRC investigators and retired colonels from Tonbridge. In addition to the lurid claims of private, late night sessions with Peter Stringfellow and his friends, it presents a classic challenge for the badges of employment tests and some messy tax implications for all sides.

Purely hypothectically, how would you advise the participants in such a case. Back at the central London tribunal, meanwhile, judgment in the case has been reserved.

About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight

AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.

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15th Oct 2010 09:11

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15th Oct 2010 16:09

Don't forget...

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18th Oct 2010 11:05

Hypothetically, I am finding in favour of the club...

Hypothetically (and I'm not a tax professional, so please do not be concerned), I think there are several badges of trade which point to this situation being one of self employment rather than employment:

Control  The claimant has the right to decide how a project (dance) is performed.

Provision of equipment The claimant provides her own equipment necessary for the job (a naked body).

Basis of remuneration The claimant is reumerated on a project by project basis, at a price which is fixed or negotiated by the claimant (or so I'm told).

Trading structure The claimant can trade with more than one client at a time (if they are lucky).

Place in organisation The claimant appears and behaves differently to other employees (and how).

 

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18th Oct 2010 18:25

terrible

sexual discrimination.

i recall the case late "80.s when continental airlines could no longer put their youngest and best looking stewardesses on cross atlantic flights. the returning mummies, after bringing up their children - say 40 plus years old - filed and won a lawsuit against the airline for discrimination. i changed to branson's birds of the air!

Stringfellows be warned - these times of austerity may force a change!

is the dancer blond, brunette or black haired?

discrimination can take many different guises.

 

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