Explaining the risks of working ‘under the table’
Newcomers may not be aware of the difference between legal work and working ‘under the table’ in the ‘underground economy.’
Important aspects to explain are that while working ‘under the table’ may seem easy and convenient:
- They have no rights as employees when they work ‘under the table’, and they may be substantially underpaid and taken advantage of, in terms of working conditions and expectations.
- Such work can expose them to legal and tax problems, as a result of not reporting income earned.
- This work will not be taken into account, in the event that there is later a need to access Employment Insurance (EI) when unemployed.
- There are no employee benefits provided, such as vacation pay and supplementary health insurance coverage.
- Without a demonstrable source of income, a newcomer will not eventually be able to sponsor a family member.
- By not paying taxes on income, newcomers are not contributing to the system that helps maintain healthcare, roads, schools, etc. and helped fund their re-settlement in Canada.
For more context on this, see the following links:
- Are you hurting yourself by working under the table? – TradeLinks.
- About the underground economy – Canada Revenue Agency.