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6306.0 - Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, Aug 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/06/2009   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

This publication contains statistics on the composition and distribution of earnings and hours paid for, of employees, as well as information on how employees' pay is set - by award or pay scale only, collective agreement or individual arrangement. The statistics are based on the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (EEH) conducted in respect of August 2008.

The diagram below shows the proportion of employees in scope of the August 2008 EEH survey by category of employee.

Diagram: Population tree


COMPOSITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF EARNINGS AND HOURS

Composition: In August 2008, average weekly total cash earnings was $957.90 for all employees, $1,146.50 for male employees and $762.30 for female employees. Average weekly total cash earnings was $1,257.40 for full-time adult employees and $440.30 for all part-time employees. Overtime payments accounted for 4.0% of average weekly total cash earnings of all employees and 5.4% of average weekly total cash earnings of full-time non-managerial employees.

AVERAGE WEEKLY TOTAL CASH EARNINGS, August 2008
Graph: Average Weekly Total Cash Earnings, August 2008


Salary sacrifice: The average amount salary sacrificed across all employees was $42.60, or 4.4% of average weekly total cash earnings. For those employees with a salary sacrifice arrangement, the average amount salary sacrificed was $250.50, or 17.4% of average weekly total cash earnings. Of these employees, full-time managerial adults salary sacrificed, on average, 22.5% of average weekly total cash earnings, compared with 14.7% for full-time non-managerial adult employees and 27.4% for all part-time employees.

Sector: Average weekly total cash earnings of all employees was higher in the public sector ($1,106.90) than the private sector ($922.40).

Industry: Average weekly total cash earnings of all employees was highest in the Mining industry ($2,033.90) and lowest in the Accommodation and food services industry ($451.40).

Occupation: Among major occupation groups, Managers had the highest average weekly total cash earnings ($1,706.90) while Sales workers had the lowest ($563.20).

States and territories: The average weekly total cash earnings of all employees was highest in the Australian Capital Territory ($1,137.60) and lowest in Tasmania ($823.00).


FULL-TIME NON-MANAGERIAL ADULT EMPLOYEES

In August 2008, average weekly total cash earnings was $1,194.40 for full-time non-managerial adult employees ($1,280.40 for male employees and $1,062.30 for female employees). For this category of employee, average weekly total hours paid for was 39.7 hours (40.6 hours for males, 38.3 hours for females). The average hourly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial adult employees was $30.10.

Sector: Average weekly total hours paid for was higher in the private sector (40.2) than in the public sector (38.0). In contrast, average hourly total cash earnings was higher in the public sector compared with the private sector ($34.10 and $29.00 respectively).

Industry: Average weekly total hours paid for was highest in the Mining industry (43.9 hours) for full-time non-managerial adult employees and lowest in the Education and training industry (36.8 hours). The Mining industry also had the highest average hourly total cash earnings ($45.30) for full-time non-managerial adult employees while the lowest was in the Retail Trade ($22.60) and Accommodation and food services ($21.50) industries.

AVERAGE WEEKLY TOTAL CASH EARNINGS, Industry - Full-time non-managerial adult employees
Graph: Average weekly total cash earnings


Occupation: Among the major occupation groups, Machinery operators and drivers had the highest average weekly total hours paid for (43.7 hours), and Professionals had the lowest average weekly total hours paid for (38.0 hours). The ratio of female to male average weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial adult employees was highest for Machinery operators and drivers (86.9%) and lowest for Technicians and trades workers (74.6%) and Community and personal service workers (76.3%).

AVERAGE WEEKLY TOTAL CASH EARNINGS, Occupation - Full-time non-managerial adult employees
Graph: Average weekly total cash earnings


States and territories: Average weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial adult employees was highest in Western Australia ($1,316.80) and the Australian Capital Territory ($1,314.80) and lowest in Tasmania ($1,043.80). For this group of employees, the average weekly total hours paid for was highest in Western Australia (41.4 hours - 39.3 ordinary time hours and 2.1 overtime hours), and lowest in the Australian Capital Territory (38.1 hours - 37.3 ordinary time hours and 0.7 overtime hours).


METHODS OF SETTING PAY

Information on the methods of setting pay for employees refers to how the main part of an employee's pay was set in the survey reference period. Employees classified to 'Award or pay scale only' had their rate of pay specified by an award or pay scale and were not paid more than that rate of pay. Employees classified to the Collective agreement category had the main part of their pay set by a registered or unregistered collective agreement, or an enterprise award.

Those in the Individual arrangement category include employees who had the main part of their pay set by an individual contract, registered individual agreement (e.g. Australian Workplace Agreement), common law contract, or an agreement to receive overaward payments. Working proprietors of incorporated businesses are also included within the individual arrangement category.


All employees

The most common methods of setting pay for all employees were registered collective agreement (39.2%), unregistered individual arrangement (36.5%) and award or pay scale only (16.5%). Registered individual agreement (2.2%) and unregistered collective agreement (0.6%) were the least common methods of setting pay. The remaining 5.0% of employees were working proprietors of incorporated businesses.

METHODS OF SETTING PAY, All employees
Graph: Methods of setting pay


In the private sector, the most common method of setting pay was unregistered individual arrangement (44.7%), while in the public sector it was registered collective agreement (96.0%).

The most common methods of setting pay for full-time employees were registered or unregistered individual arrangement (45.7%) and collective agreement (38.0%). For part-time employees, collective agreement (43.1%) and award or pay scale only (29.0%) were the most common methods of setting pay.

For permanent or fixed term employees, the most common methods of setting pay were collective agreement (41.8%) and registered or unregistered individual arrangement (41.3%) while for casual employees, the most common method of setting pay was by award or pay scale only (39.7%).

The award or pay scale only method of setting pay for employees was highest in the Accommodation and food services industry (50.3%). The collective agreement method was highest in the Public administration and safety industry (88.2%), and the individual arrangement method (registered or unregistered) was highest in the Wholesale trade industry (75.5%).

Among the major occupation groups, the award or pay scale only method of setting pay was highest for Community and personal service workers and Sales workers (31.7% and 30.5% respectively). The collective agreement method was highest for Professionals (52.4%) and the individual arrangement method (registered or unregistered) was highest for Managers (59.0%).

Tasmania and New South Wales had the highest proportion of employees whose pay was set by award or pay scale only (20.8% and 20.2% respectively). The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of employees whose pay was set by collective agreement (56.0%). Western Australia had the highest proportion of employees whose pay was set by individual arrangement (registered or unregistered) (47.8%).


Average weekly total cash earnings

Average weekly total cash earnings for employees who had their pay set by a registered or unregistered individual arrangement was higher for males than females ($1,300.40 and $874.80 respectively). Similarly, earnings for employees who had their pay set by a collective agreement was higher for males ($1,167.10) than females ($814.80). The difference in earnings, however, was significantly less for employees whose pay was set by award or pay scale only ($539.20 for males and $449.10 for females).

AVERAGE WEEKLY TOTAL CASH EARNINGS, Methods of setting pay - All employees
Graph: Methods of setting pay



Jurisdiction

The introduction of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005 in March 2006 brought significant change to the workplace relations environment. Prior to its introduction, employers could essentially choose whether to access the federal or state workplace relations systems (i.e. by using a federal or state award, collective or individual agreement to set the pay and conditions of their employees). Alternatively they could choose to negotiate pay and conditions outside of either the federal or state systems (through an unregistered arrangement, e.g. common-law contract). However, since the introduction of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005, employers (and their employees) within scope of this legislation are deemed to be in the federal jurisdiction (see paragraphs 25 to 27 of the Explanatory Notes).

At the Australia level, 78.5% of employees were covered by the federal jurisdiction (including working proprietors of incorporated businesses), compared with 13% covered by the state jurisdiction. For the remaining employees, it was not possible to determine the jurisdictional coverage.


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