EAT rules that Stringfellows dancer is an employee
Posted May 18, 2012
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that a Stringfellows' worker was employed rather than self-employed, and can now pursue an unfair dismissal against the West End club.
The EAT overturned an original ruling by the London Central Employment Tribunal in November 2010 that dancer Nadine Quashie was self-employed; the judge pointed to several factors in the dancer's working practices that demonstrated that she was technically an employee.
In his judgement, HHJ McMullen said that the mutuality of obligation (MOO) between the parties was crucial to the case. The judge stated that their was sufficient MOO between Stringfellows and Quashie on the nights she worked at the club. The dancer had to turn up whenever rostered to do so, and had to perform her services as directed by her management. If she failed to perform her dances as requested, she could also be fined.
The judge decided that number of other factors, such as attendance at unpaid weekly meetings, would have led Quashie to expect an ongoing working relationship to continue under a single umbrella contract.
Stringfellows were obliged to provide opportunities to dance to Quashie, and to exchange vouchers she earnt into cash - which represented an obligation to pay her.
Shah Qureshi of Bindmans LLP, who represented Quashie in the case, said:
"There were mutual obligations that had all the hallmarks of an employment relationship and yet my client was denied her basic employment rights.
"The door is now open for them [dancers] to assert their rights and for better regulation within the industry."
You can read the EAT judgement here.
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