6342.0 - Working Time Arrangements, Australia, Nov 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2007   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Working Time Arrangements Survey, conducted throughout Australia in November 2006 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who fell within the scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


3 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, 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) which is available on the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au> (Methods, Classifications, Concepts & Standards).


4 The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes the following people:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from the census and estimated populations
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

5 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

6 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 120,000 people living in very remote parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these people will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates produced for individual states and territories, except the Northern Territory where such people account for around 23% of the population.

7 Questions were asked of people who were employees in their main job, except those who were contributing family workers in their main job and those aged 15-19 years who were still at school.


8 The estimates in this publication relate to people covered by the survey in November 2006. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


9 Supplementary surveys are not always conducted on the full LFS sample. Since August 1994 the sample for supplementary surveys has been restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the LFS sample.

10 The initial sample for the November 2006 LFS consisted of 41,569 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 33,823 private dwelling households and special dwelling units that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households selected in the survey which had no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), approximately 31,797 or 94.0% were fully responding to the Working Time Arrangements survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwellings and special dwelling units (after taking into account scope, coverage and sub-sampling exclusions) was 28,354.


11 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:

  • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For more information see the Technical Note.
  • Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and effective processing procedures.


12 The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month and, due to seasonal factors, may not be representative of other months of the year.


13 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).

14 From 2006, occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0). This new classification replaces the ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0). Data classified according to the ASCO are available on request.

15 Also from 2006, industry data are classified according to the ANZSIC - Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). This new classification replaces the ANZSIC - Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0). Data classified according to the ANZSIC 1993 are available on request.


16 People who were away from work during the reference week were included in the 'Less than 1 hour/no hours' category for the data item 'Hours actually worked in main job'.

17 For the data item 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', people who reported that they worked from Monday to Friday, inclusive, were categorised as working Monday to Friday. These people may have reported that they also worked on Saturday and Sunday in their job/s. People who reported that the usual days of the week worked varied were categorised only to days varied. A response of days varied could not be provided with any other response.

18 The responses given by multiple jobholders for the data items 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', 'Number of days of the week usually worked in all jobs', 'Whether worked weekdays and/or weekends in all jobs' and 'Whether usually worked any hours between 7pm and 7am in all jobs' does not imply that this was their usual pattern of work in each of their jobs, rather this was their total pattern of work in all of their jobs.

19 For the data item 'Whether compensated for extra hours or overtime worked', people who reported their most recent period of unpaid overtime was not included in their salary package, that they were not entitled to receive time off in lieu, and that they would not be compensated in some other way were categorised as having unpaid extra hours or overtime.


20 Revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The last such revision was made in February 2004 to take account of the results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 2004 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.

21 Since the release of the 2000 survey results, it has been identified that 'with leave entitlements' was calculated incorrectly in 2000. Those who had only paid sick leave or paid holiday leave, but not both types of leave, were incorrectly classified as being without leave entitlements. The number of employees excluded in 2000 was 199,000. The total number with leave entitlements in 2000 should have been 5,722,100 (74.2%) of employees compared to 71.6% as published.


22 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of this supplementary survey and that of the monthly LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.


23 Results of similar surveys, conducted in August 1993, August 1995, August 1997, November 2000 and November 2003 were published in Working Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0), and in the standard data service Working Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0.40.001).


24 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2009.


25 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


26 ABS publications which may also be of interest include:

27 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or from the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.