Sacked lap dancer loses case

A lap dancer who attempted to bring an unfair dismissal case against Stringfellows has lost her case, a lawyer for the club said today.

Nadine Quashie, 27, was seeking permission to take the club to an employment tribunal over her sacking in December 2008, but first had to prove she had been employed by them.

The single mother, of Greenford, west London, worked topless wearing a G-string at the club over an 18-month period, taking home more than £1,000 a night when it was busy. Her garter would be stuffed with pre-paid vouchers from clients, called "heavenly vouchers", and on one night she made as much as £3,000, a central London hearing was told.

Ms Quashie, who was once a university women's officer, said she had not realised she was deemed to be self-employed until another dancer told her that was the case, five to six months after she started working at the London club.

She told a tribunal last month that she should be entitled to a full employment tribunal for unfair dismissal because conditions at the club effectively meant dancers were employees. The dancer alleged she was forced to work a minimum of three shifts a week, prevented from working elsewhere and was told how much she could charge. She also claimed she was made to fill out a holiday form if she wanted time off.

However the judgment handed down today concluded Ms Quashie was not an employee of Stringfellows.

It was alleged at the three-day tribunal that Ms Quashie has been living as a "tax exile" in her own country and has never paid "a penny" of tax in her life.

Caspar Glyn, representing Stringfellows, told the hearing Ms Quashie had misrepresented her tax affairs and therefore should not qualify to have her unfair dismissal case heard.

Catherine Rayner, representing Ms Quashie, denied any wrongdoing by her client.

Ms Quashie held a student union sabbatical position at Thames Valley University less than two years before joining Stringfellows in June 2007. The former accountancy and finance student never completed her course.

The written judgment, which is more than 20 pages long, dismissed Ms Quashie's claim, saying: "The claimant was not an employee of the respondent, and therefore the tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to hear her claim for unfair dismissal."

It continued: "There is insufficient evidence before the tribunal to conclude that the claimant's contract was illegal.