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cash-in-hand investigations.

Minimum WageNovember 15, 2016

cash-in-hand investigations. (Last Updated On: November 16, 2016)

A recent investigation by Fairfax Media has shown more than 5,500 workers each year speak up after being paid cash-in-hand payments. The concern is that these workers are being paid less than the correct Award wages which could result in further investigations conducted by the Fair Work Commission.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) estimates about 1.6 million businesses mostly ‘micro’ and small businesses operating across 233 industries are part of the illegal cash payments.

The ATO has in recent years increased the number of audits they conduct on small businesses in high risk industries. Those being businesses they suspect are most likely to be participating in the illegal cash-in-hand payments to workers. These include cafes and restaurants, carpentry and electrical services, hair, beauty and nail specialists, building trades, road freight and waste skip operators and cleaners.

The ATO continues to conduct country-wide visits including:

  • 170 businesses in Sydney’s Haymarket restaurant and cafe area
  • 300 visits in Adelaide, again of the restaurant and cafe sector
  • 130 visits in the restaurant and cafe sector in Box Hill in Victoria
  • 250 visits of Gold Coast based cafes and hair and beauty salons

There are some circumstances when paying workers in cash is acceptable. However, if you are paying your employees’ wages in cash, you should:

  • check the relevant Modern Awards, Enterprise Agreements or registered agreements that will set out when employees must be paid and how much they should recieve
  • provide regular pay slips showing all of the employee’s earnings
  • provide a payment summary at the end of the year which sets out the employee’s full earnings

The Fair Work Commission regularly checks if employers are paying their workers the correct wage, this includes minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, and overtime.

As Australia’s leading workplace specialists, we can equip you with the safeguards to pay your employees correctly and meet other workplace obligations. Employsure makes it easy for employers to follow and understand the Fair Work Act 2009. Contact Employsure on 1300 651 415 to speak with a specialist.

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