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Cash-In-Hand Employment (English)

Cash-in-hand employment is not good for employees and it is not something that you should ask for. This means that you are not paying tax, you are probably underpaid, you are not getting payslips or superannuation.

In this fact sheet, our focus is not on whether you are paid in cash. Rather, the focus is on the fact that “cash-in- hand” jobs usually mean there is no official record of the employment relationship.

For example, you may think you are an employee but you are not on the employer’s books. Sometimes people refer to this as being “off the books”. You may be paid in cash or by bank transfer or by cheque, but the important thing to understand here is that when you have a cash-in-hand job your employer is not withholding tax from your pay. This is against the law.

Cash-in-hand employment is not good for employees and it is not something that you should ask for. But we know that sometimes employees do not have a choice. You might have done all the right things but your employer is still treating you as a cash-in-hand employee.

This means that you are not paying tax, you are probably 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.

The attached fact sheet has more information about things to consider 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 info@studymelbourne.vic.gov.au.

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