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Cash-In-Hand Employment

This Fact Sheet discusses cash-in-hand employment, which is not good for employees. But we know that sometimes employees do not have a choice.

While it is not unlawful to be paid in cash, a ‘cash-in-hand’ job usually means that there is no official record of the employment relationship. You may be paid in cash or by bank transfer or by cheque, but when you have a cash-in-hand job, your employer is not withholding tax from your pay. This is against the law.

Usually cash-in-hand means that you are not paying tax, you are being underpaid, you are not getting payslips or superannuation and if anything goes wrong and you want to make a complaint about your employment, you may struggle to prove that you were employed there and that you worked all the hours you say you worked. Think about these issues before you accept a cash-in-hand job and try to keep as much evidence as possible about all the hours you work.

Read the full Fact Sheet for information about your work rights and what you should do if you have a cash-in-hand job.

Need legal advice?

We know that international students may be more vulnerable to accepting cash-in-hand jobs. If you would like to make an appointment for free and confidential legal advice about your work rights with the International Students Employment and Accommodation Legal Service, please contact the Study Melbourne Student Centre by calling 1800 056 449 or emailing

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