5 Popular ‘Off The Books’ Jobs For The Unemployed


With 9.7% of the Irish population currently claiming social welfare, we here a WWN have put together a list of the five best ‘off the books jobs’ out there at the moment to help you scrap back on some of that extortionate tax you’ve been paying over the years.

1. Bar-person

Publicans are notoriously stingy when it comes to paying wages and have long been noted for their lax attitude towards income tax. This is great news for unemployed people looking for that little extra something on top of their €183 weekly dole payment. After all, working weekends isn’t really cheating the system as it doesn’t involve regular hours. Convince yourself of this and you are sure to remain in this very comfortable position for years, without ever being caught.

A bit scared you’re local welfare officer might come in for a pint some day? Don’t worry, many bars and restaurants offer an ‘Xs & Os’ system whereby they pretend to employ you for just one day a week, when in actual fact they give you a full-time role for half the money. Perfect.

2. Landscaping

Landscheming more like. Lolz. This little nixer is perfect for people who just love working in the great outdoors. If the dole crowd spot you on their way to work, just say you’re helping a friend with his or her garden. One hundred smackers a day. Boom!

‘What, I’m not allowed garden ’cause I’m unemployed?’ Nonsense. Gardens are gardens. Let’s see them prove you’re being paid. This is safe as houses. Or should we say, safe as building houses. Which leads us to our next off the books number.

3. Labourer For Builders

Sure jaysis, there isn’t a man, woman or child in Ireland that hasn’t worked off the books as a labourer at some stage of their working/unemployed life. In fact, up until the late nineties, 35% of politicians in Ireland were employed on building sites. However, the Government later clamped down on this practice by implementing a series of compulsory safety passes. This really only affected big Dublin construction firms from hiring unemployed people, leaving the rest of the country pretty much free to munch breakfast rolls in hard hats while collecting their dole from the local post office. This trade has taken a beating during the resesh, but is slowly making a comeback. Winning!

4. Drug Dealing

Working off the books from home while watching Scarface and claiming the dole is every Irish person’s dream. You go to bed late and wake up late. What’s not to love? This is exactly the reason why so many young Irish people take up the drug trade. Tax free, this rather profitable yet dangerous position is not for the faint of heart and can sometimes lead to death or even a lengthy prison sentence, but only if you are really bad at it. Some of the best drug dealers in the country can make up to 5-10 thousand euros a week, depending on how ruthless and ambitious they are.

Cannabis and lower grade substances are less profitable, but maybe a safer option if you don’t fancy ruining the lives of dozens of costumers with opiates and crack cocaine. This business is not for everyone.

5. Artist

Ireland has over 1 million unregistered artists that openly sell their wares while still managing to collect their weekly handouts. Artist is a broad term, that includes: musicians/buskers, painters, writers and even faith healers. This is probably the most preferred off the books job in Ireland due to our heroic title as ‘the land of saints and scholars’. There really is nothing to stop you painting a beautiful picture and selling it to somebody on the street for thousands of euros, or even playing four gigs every weekend at your local town bar while singing all the way to the dole queue every month to sign on.

This is okay in Ireland, everyone is doing it so don’t feel guilty. Sure who’s gonna say anything to ya, huh?  A didilly iddle doodle iddle, diddily idle day. Hup ya boya!