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2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2006  Reissue
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Contents >> Glossary >> Unpaid work

Unpaid work


The 2006 Census is the first Census to include questions on unpaid work. They are applicable to people aged 15 years and over, and are separate from the labour force questions.They cover the following topics:

    • Caring for a person who has a disability, long-term illness or problems related to old age
    • Caring for a child/children (including own child or other child)
    • Domestic work
    • Voluntary work through/or for an organisation or group.

Data from these questions may be used in the planning of local facilities, services such as day-care and occasional care, and in the provision of information and support to carers. They will help in understanding the way individuals and families balance their paid work with other important aspects of their lives, such as family and community commitments.


Unpaid Assistance to a Person with a Disability (UNCAREP) - This includes the unpaid help a person gives to another person to assist them with their daily activities. It can include, but is not limited to:

    • Bathing, dressing, toileting and feeding
    • Helping to move around
    • Understanding or being understood by others
    • Providing emotional support and helping maintain friendships and social activities
    • Helping with or supervising medication
    • Dressing wounds
    • Cleaning, laundry, cooking, managing diets and meal preparation
    • Housework, light household repairs or maintenance, or household finances
    • Driving or accompanying to appointments and activities.

Unpaid Child Care (CHCAREP) - This includes the time a person spends caring for a child or children without being paid. This can include people caring for their own children, whether they usually live with them or not. It can also include people looking after their own grandchildren or the children of other relatives or the children of friends or neighbours.


Unpaid Domestic Work: Number of Hours (DOMP) - This includes all the domestic work a person does without pay in their own home and in other places, for themselves, their family and other people in their household.


Unpaid domestic work can include meal preparation, service and clean-up; washing, ironing and managing clothes; other housework; gardening, mowing and yard work; home maintenance; car and bike maintenance; household shopping and managing household financial affairs.


Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group (VOLWP) - This includes help willingly given in the form of time, service or skills, to a club, organisation or association.


Unpaid voluntary work can include:

    • assisting at organised events and with sports organisations
    • helping with organised school events and activities
    • assisting in churches, hospitals, nursing homes and charities
    • other kinds of volunteer work (e.g. emergency services, etc.).

Voluntary work excludes unpaid work done through a club, organisation or association mainly in order to qualify for government benefits such as Newstart Allowance. It also excludes any activity which is part of a person's paid employment or family business.


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