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An Auckland-based stripper and comedian says while some strip clubs take rules and fines too far, most controls serve to help the workplace run smoothly. A former Calendar Girls employee is taking the strip club to the Employment Relations Authority for an alleged unfair dismissal related to "fines" the club issues for offences including wearing a G-string for too long.
But entertainer Brooke West, who has more than a decade of experience under her belt, said the case wrongly paint strippers as being victims in the industry. Most of the rules were "pretty common sense", she said, and were in place to help the girls make money. The regulations were revealed by a document used in former stripper Jessica Clifford's case for alleged unfair dismissal, for missing work in September last year. The document laid out a raft of rules by which the dancers had to abide - and fines imposed if they broke the rules.
Brooke West, who had worked in all of Auckland's strip clubs at one time or another during her time in the industry, described such regulations as a "blanket industry standard". While she admitted some clubs were a little too "trigger happy" when it came to fines and rules, West also said there had to be some give and take to create an efficient club.
West said the fines were necessary as many of the dancers had strong personalities and did not respond well when told what to do. Labour Inspectorate national manager Stu Lumsden said the ministry would be closely watching for the results of Clifford's application.
Lumsden said there was particular interest as to whether she was working as an employee or contractor. A number of legal factors determined which type of employment the strippers came under - including how much control the individual had to decide their own work, whether their work was fundamental to the business and the economic basis of the relationship - whether the employer paid tax and ACC levies.