Working cash in hand

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Grace
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Joined: 19-07-05
Aug 15 2005 22:25
Working cash in hand

I work in a caff, cash in hand. Now this is good, in practical terms, cos I get money every week. However since I turned 18 my boss hasn't mentioned raising my pay even though she's not paying me minimum wage. It's a petty little thing but it made me realise that I don't have a clue about what my rights are, or the legalities of it all. Is it different because I don't have a contract and am not on a payroll or anything? Any information?

Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
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Joined: 17-07-06
Aug 15 2005 23:23

Grace - thats pretty sucky sad

You should def be getting minimum wage regardless of anything...

Here's some basic stuff:

http://libcom.org/organise/workplace/articles/key-employment-rights.php

I guess if it was me I would just approach your boss in a friendly manner about it and prompt her. But yeah read some stuff about it first, so you feel more confident.

Stuff like the TUC website might also be a good place to look:

http://www.tuc.org.uk/tuc/rights_main.cfm

afraser
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Joined: 16-07-05
Aug 15 2005 23:50
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Is it different because I don't have a contract and am not on a payroll or anything?

No, no difference. Although you may not have a _written_ contract, you nevertheless _do_ have a contract of employment: your verbally understood terms and conditions of employment. Nowadays it is very unusual to get a written contract of employment, even (especially) when employed by large multinationals, and even if you do, they are fairly meaningless, may be unilaterally altered at any time in a non union shop. Whether paid in cash or through a bank does not alter the fact that you are an employee.

I would remind your employer that you were due a wage rise when you turned 18. That wage rise should also be backdated to your 18th birthday. Tips don't count in case she tries that line. Log a call with the Government’s National Minimum Wage Helpline on 0845 6000 678 to prove that you are raising this as an issue. Get them to write to you acknowledging your complaint - otherwise they may pretend your call never happened.

If you want to press the issue (and I think you should: anyone who won't even pay £4.10 an hour is scum), your employer may dismiss you. Evidence of some kind that you were employed at the cafe would be helpful then - e.g. letters from your boss, witnesses who saw you working in the cafe, or, best thing is to buy (cheap nowadays) or borrow an MP3 player/digital camera/mobile phone/personal stereo tape player/etc. gadget that has recording capability, keep it in your pocket and secretly record your boss speaking to you about work related matters. It's perfectly legal to record people talking to you without their consent or knowledge, or to photograph them, and, although not acceptable as evidence in criminal trials, is fine for civil cases including employment tribunals.

An employment tribunal would be where to go at that point, submit a claim through this link: http://www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk/how_to.asp#Make_a_claim. Would be a pretty easy case to win, should not need a lawyer, the tribunals are meant to be for non-lawyers.

Your boss may be illegally evading income tax and national insurance payments while paying you cash in hand. Not necessarily though, and anyway is not your problem. But it she is, then it would be a criminal office on her part. So you should be careful not to be seen to attempt to blackmail your boss on that issue - blackmail is another criminal offence. Asking for a reasonable wage rise without threats is not blackmail.

Then again, if you are claiming benefits without declaring your wages earned cash in hand, that should be fine as long as your boss doesn't suspect (the DSS are way too dozy to follow employment tribunal cases). But if you are, and she does, then you have a problem - your boss can anytime report you to the anonymous DSS telephone line and so do you as much harm as you can do her.

The Porkadian
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Joined: 27-07-05
Aug 16 2005 00:11

Cash in hand is always a bit dodgy specially if your signing on cos there is always some braindead moron out there willing to grass on you.

knightrose
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Joined: 8-11-03
Aug 16 2005 07:49

it may sound old and farty, but I really wouldn't recommend working cash in hand. It's always in the bosses interests for you to do so. And in the process you are losing out on benefit rights - not least of all pension entitlement (and I know that's a long way away). I'd suggest getting another job, unless you live somewhere where that's impractical. Then shop your boss.

marinebroadcast
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Joined: 12-07-05
Aug 16 2005 09:16

Cash in hand is ok for a short term solution. Benifits are so low sometimes you really dont have a choice if you want to eat AND leave your house. If your are going to do cash work its best to do stuff like gardening or bayby sitting etc then you have less liklyhood of getting caught / grassed.

A good test for your boss might be to ask for payslips and watch the reaction.

If you are knowingly do cash work and are signig on as agreed with yr boss you are totally screwed in terms of rights and stuff. They can really play on your fears and take full advantage. this is what happens to the majority of illegal immagrants. its really bad

Pepe
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Joined: 26-11-04
Aug 16 2005 18:50
knightrose wrote:
I'd suggest getting another job, unless you live somewhere where that's impractical.

Poor Grace! sad

Mitch
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Joined: 14-01-05
Aug 17 2005 10:26
marinebroadcast wrote:
Cash in hand is ok for a short term solution. Benifits are so low sometimes you really dont have a choice if you want to eat AND leave your house. If your are going to do cash work its best to do stuff like gardening or bayby sitting etc then you have less liklyhood of getting caught / grassed.

A good test for your boss might be to ask for payslips and watch the reaction.

If you are knowingly do cash work and are signig on as agreed with yr boss you are totally screwed in terms of rights and stuff. They can really play on your fears and take full advantage. this is what happens to the majority of illegal immagrants. its really bad

I'm aware of much of this going on in our local area, and people are doing it to survive as an essential supplement to benefits. The system forces people to do it and they're getting screwed on health and safety and more. It's a sensitive issue and a dilemma for organising and pushing for rights as the confidentiality to preserve benefits and with immigrants remaining here means that anonimity is essential.

Homeworkers are getting screwed here, and other sensitivities arising are that some are working for and getting screwed by their own family members. Also, it is rife in construction - small firms are exploiting people on benefits who need extra cash - they turn up and do the job, then the firm doesn't pay them the cash. They haven't a leg to stand on because of the benefits and these unscrupulous employers know that.

How to organise against this is difficult. Any suggestions?

Another thing people do to get extra cash is drug dealing. You look around, and all that's available is shittier and shittier jobs on low pay - not a living wage. So people look to supplements wherever they can find them.