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Beware of Cash in Hand!

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by Lisa Johnson

20 days ago

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‘HC Driver Wanted’ (weekends)

Western Sydney

Looking for a driver to fill in on some weekends, paying cash.  Very easy work, a ten minute drive running back and forth all day (shuttle work).  Fork on Fork off.  Hours are 5.30am – 1.30pm either Saturday or Sunday (days vary).  $200 CASH per day.  Must speak and read fluent English.  No 457’s. Please send text ONLY!! Forward through your driving info / experience…”

I saw this on a Facebook Group page just yesterday. I don’t know if the employer in this case is completely ignorant of Australian employment law (and the minimum award rates) or if they are aware but pretty sure they can attract a desperate job seeker for the money.

If you are looking for work, be careful of jobs advertised on Gumtree, Facebook or any other online job boards where you are offered cash payment.  Cash payment says no super, no tax and likely no penalty rates.  It means a fight over workers’ compensation if you are hurt, it means a fight over insurance if you damage someone else’s property in the course of your work.  It means that you are being ripped off.

Now I can’t tell what award applies to this role because I don’t know the industry of the business, but I can almost guarantee the person driving the truck should be covered by a modern award, which would have provisions for penalty rates on Saturdays and Sundays.  For example, on commencement, an employee graded as a level 1 in the storage services and wholesale award 2010 (this award level includes delivery drivers), the minimum hourly rate for a casual employee on a Saturday is $34.18 + super and for Sunday it’s $43.94 + super.  $200 a day equates to $25 an hour with no superannuation.

For sure, if you are getting paid cash in hand, you are not paying PAYG tax on your earnings and it might seem like you would get more in your pay packet, but in this case you would be wrong.  If you were working 8 hours on a Saturday, and were honest and declared this income as a ‘second’ job (this is where you have another primary job and this is a second job on the weekends) you would still bring home $212.00 per day AFTER you have paid tax AND you would have earned superannuation on top of this*.

Sadly, this company probably had a good number of applications.  Some employers get away with this sort of thing because so many workers do not know what their entitlements are.  Or perhaps because people are desperate enough and /or financially compromised enough, that they will agree to ridiculous wages and conditions.  I can’t tell you not to take a job like this, because I don’t know your particular circumstances, but what I can tell you is that you are entitled to be paid a legal, minimum rate. 

Be careful out there!

*note – superannuation is only paid if you earn more than $450.00 a month in your role.

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