What it’s like to be a ‘black economy’ worker — The Conversation

The Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRE-SDHE) research program aims to understand how government policies can work more effectively to address the social determinants of health, to improve health and reduce health inequities. The WP 2 case study is exploring how the policy response to the economic shock of the GM Holden closure in Northern Adelaide, influences health equity outcomes for the community. The loss of a large local employer may have long terms impacts on local job opportunities and may potentially adversely influence health equity outcomes. Paid work is of fundamental importance not only in terms of subsistence through personal income but also because paid work shapes personal identity, secures social status and giving structure and purpose to daily life. Working life has been subjected to major transformation in the last few decades as a result of deindustrialisation and changes to labour and global market policies. Consequently there has been an increase in labour market flexibility, temporary and precarious work and ‘cash in hand’ or black economy work which operates outside the tax and regularity system. ‘Cash in Hand’ work has been the subject of a federal government’s recent Black Economy Taskforce and in the May budget the federal government announced a number of measures to counter these activities. As part of WP2, PhD Student, Miriam Vandenberg is exploring the health impacts of cash in hand work in the Northern Adelaide area and has shared some of her early findings in The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/what-its-like-to-be-a-black-economy-worker-96537 which suggests that people working ‘cash in hand’ come from diverse backgrounds and are constrained by lack of opportunity and circumstances resulting in a dependence on this type of work as a source of income to make ends meet.

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