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CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS
4 Descriptions of the underlying concepts of employee earnings, hours paid for and methods of setting pay, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).
5 Estimates of employee earnings produced from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours and presented in this publication are based on the Australian conceptual framework for measures of employee remuneration. From 2006, the measure of employee earnings for estimates produced from the survey is regular wages and salaries in cash (including amounts salary sacrificed, where it is the choice of the employee to forgo part of wages and salaries in cash in return for goods and services), that is, cash earnings.
SCOPE AND COVERAGE
6 The survey covered all employing organisations in Australia (public and private sectors) except:
7 The employees of employers covered in the survey are in scope if they received pay for the reference period, except:
SURVEY METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
8 The survey uses a two-stage sample selection approach. The first stage involves selecting a probability sample of employer units from the ABS Business Register. The statistical unit for the first stage comprises all activities of an employer in a particular state or territory based on the Australian Business Number (ABN) unit or Type of Activity Unit (TAU) (see paragraphs 15 - 26). Each statistical unit is classified to an industry which reflects the predominant activity of the business. The statistical units are stratified by state/territory, sector (private/public), industry, and employment size. Within each stratum statistical units are selected with equal probability. A sample of approximately 8,000 employer (selection) units was selected to ensure adequate industry and state/territory representation.
9 In the second stage the selected employers are asked to select a random sample of employees from their payrolls using instructions provided by the ABS. Data for approximately 55,000 employees contributed to the results in this publication.
10 Selected businesses were asked to complete the 2014 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours survey questionnaire online, with an option to use a traditional paper questionnaire on request. In addition a number of providers, particularly large businesses, opted to provide data via spreadsheets. A large majority of businesses chose to complete and submit their responses online.
29 Each employee in the survey is classified to an occupation based on their job title and duties. The classification used in the May 2014 issue of this release is Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013 (Version 1.2) (cat. no. 1220.0). Between May 2006 and May 2010, the classification used in the May 2006 and May 2010 issues is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (First Edition) (cat. no. 1220.0). Data in the 1996 to 2004 issues are based on the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations 1997 (Second Edition) (cat. no. 1220.0).
30 Employees have been classified as managerial if they have strategic responsibilities in the conduct or operations of the business and/or were in charge of a significant number of employees. These employees usually did not have an entitlement to paid overtime.
31 Care should be taken when comparing survey estimates based on ANZSCO groups with estimates based on the managerial status of employees. Estimates for employees with managerial status include employees classified to ANZSCO categories other than the ANZSCO major group Managers; e.g. employees classified as Professionals according to ANZSCO may be categorised by employers as having managerial status. Conversely, tables in this publication which contain estimates for non-managerial employees (as defined by employers) include some employees classified to the ANZSCO major group Managers.
METHODS OF SETTING PAY
32 Since the May 2000 survey, data on how employees' pay was set in the survey reference period have been collected as was data on whether agreements (individual or collective) were certified, approved or registered with an industrial tribunal or authority.
33 Estimates of employees covered by the various pay setting methods, and their associated pay outcomes in the May 2014 issue, have been compiled based on the workplace relations environment following the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the subsequent introduction of the Fair Work (State Referral and Consequential and Other Amendments) Act, which allowed for the extension of the Fair Work Act to states and territories that refer workplace relations related matters to the Commonwealth. Data in previous publications of this series issued since 2000 are based on the workplace relations environment prior to the introduction of this legislation. The Fair Work system replaced the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005 that was in place for the August 2008 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours.
34 Under the Fair Work system, the majority of employees come under the national workplace relations system. The following employers are covered by the national system:
37 Since 2010, information about the proportions of employees of employers in the national or state jurisdictions, as well as jurisdiction of registered agreements, are no longer published but may be available in the Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF). See paragraphs 47 and 48 of the Explanatory Notes.
38 From May 2010, estimates of numbers of employees by method of setting pay are presented in this release, to add context around other estimates by method of setting pay. Care should be taken in the interpretation and use of such estimates, as the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours is not designed specifically to produce estimates of numbers of employees. Consideration should be given to the level of variance of the estimates of numbers of employees, which are available from the standard error tables in the Excel spreadsheet available from the Downloads tab of this release. Users are directed to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) as the primary source for official ABS estimates of employment.
COMPARABILITY OF RESULTS
39 Caution should be exercised when comparing estimates of numbers of employees from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours with those published monthly in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) as there are a number of differences between the two collections. The Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours is a business survey that collects information from a sample of employers about their employees, whereas the Labour Force Survey is a household survey that collects information from the occupants of selected dwellings. The two collections use different sample design and survey methodologies and there are differences in scope and coverage. Users are directed to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) as the primary source for official ABS estimates of employment. Detailed information about the concepts, sources and methods of the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours and Labour Force Survey can be found in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).
40 From May 2006, estimates of employee earnings from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours have been produced on a cash basis, that is, inclusive of amounts salary sacrificed. This differs from estimates provided in previous issues, which excluded amounts salary sacrificed by employees. Estimates from the May 2004 and May 2002 surveys have been reproduced on the new conceptual basis, and broad level estimates for these years were included in the electronic data release accompanying the May 2006 publication.
41 Care should be taken when comparing estimates of average weekly earnings from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours with those published biannually in Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat. no. 6302.0). Headline estimates of average weekly earnings in that publication are presented on the previous conceptual basis (i.e. exclusive of amounts salary sacrificed), although Average Weekly Cash Earnings (inclusive of salary sacrifice) are available in data cubes accessed via the Downloads tab of Average Weekly Earnings, Australia (cat. no. 6302.0). Additionally, the two collections use different sample design and survey methodologies. The Survey of Average Weekly Earnings collects information relating to the total gross earnings and the total number of employees of employer units selected in the survey. The average weekly earnings measures are derived by dividing total gross earnings by the number of employees. The Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours collects information about weekly earnings of a sample of employees within the employer units selected.
42 In addition to Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, the ABS produces earning statistics from a number of different sources (both household and employer surveys) which provide a wide range of data for a variety of purposes. The decision on which data to draw upon depends on the purpose and type of analysis to be undertaken. For further information on these other sources, please refer to the feature article Understanding Earnings in Australia Using ABS Statistics published in Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2013 (cat. no. 6310.0).
43 For the May 2014 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, the item Adult or Junior employee was modified, and further categories included. The new item 'rate of pay' has the following categories: adult rate; junior rate; apprentice or trainee rate; and disability rate. The previous Adult category included those employees aged 21 years and over who are not paid the full adult rate of pay for their occupation, which includes those paid an apprentice/trainee or disability rate of pay. To a lesser extent, the previous Junior category included some employees aged under 21 who, while not paid an age related rate of pay, were not paid the full adult rate of pay, such as those paid an apprentice/trainee or disability rate of pay. This conceptual change has little impact on the estimate of earnings for employees paid at the Junior rate and is not statistically significant when the Adult rate is compared to the Adult category.
44 However, previous estimates for Employees paid at the adult rate of pay are not directly comparable to estimates produced in prior cycles for Adult Employees. In particular, results for Full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate of pay are not directly comparable to results for Full-time non-managerial adult employees, due to the reasons described above. The closest approximation to allow comparison with data from 2012 and before would be to apportion those employees paid at the Apprentice/Trainee Rate and Disability Rate to the Adult or Junior categories based on the employee's reported age. Data, on this broader aggregation of the rate of pay data item, are presented in the Summary of Findings in order to assist users interpret the difference between the two concepts.
RELIABILITY OF ESTIMATES
45 Estimates are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. For information on the reliability of estimates see the Technical Note.
48 Further information about ABS microdata, including conditions of use, is available via the Microdata section on the ABS web site.
49 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications:
50 Estimates of average earnings shown in the tables and data cubes are rounded to the nearest 10 cents and those of average weekly hours paid for are rounded to the first decimal place. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
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