It may be tempting to accept a ‘cash-in-hand’ job, especially if it is your first job, or if you are having trouble finding work.
But, be wary! Too often, ‘cash-in-hand’ means ‘off-the-books’, where there are no records, no pay slips, and a high risk of wage theft. This is where an employer avoids paying you entitlements like the minimum wage, superannuation, or penalty rates.
Some dodgy employers will pretend they are doing you a favour, but in reality you lose a lot more than you gain. You may not be able to prove that you worked there, for how long, or prove your hours. This makes it harder to enforce your rights. Employers who offer ‘cash-in-hand’ jobs often don’t have proper workers’ compensation insurance, which means that you may not be covered if there’s an accident.
Getting ‘cash-in-hand’ is different to being paid wages in cash. Your employer can pay you in cash as long as you receive a proper pay slip, are being paid superannuation, and the right amount of tax is being taken from your earnings and sent to the Australian Tax Office.