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4903.1 - Managing Caring Responsibilities and Paid Employment, New South Wales, Oct 2000  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/05/2001   
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In the 6 months to October 2000, an estimated 1,994,400 or 42% of persons aged 18 years and over in NSW, provided care for another adult or child. Of these, 1,665,900 (84%) provided care on an ongoing or continual basis. A higher proportion of females provided care (46%) than males (37%). Just over half of all carers (53%) had children under the age of 15 and were caring for their children only.


Whether working arrangements used for caring

Half of all carers (996,200 persons) were employees in paid employment. Of these 401,900 (40%) had used some form of working arrangement in the last six months to help care for another person. This varied by sex and sector of employment. Females were more likely to use work arrangements (48%) than males (33%). However, the difference between males and females appears to be in the private sector rather than the government or public service sector. In the private sector 47% of females used work arrangements to care for another person, compared to 28% of males. In the government or public service sector similar proportions of males and females used working arrangements to care (47% and 53% respectively). Males were more likely to use working arrangements for caring in the government or public service sector (47%) than the private sector (28%).

Type of working arrangements used for caring

The most common working arrangements used to care for another person were paid leave (32%), part-time work (20%), an informal arrangement with an employer (20%), a rostered day off (17%) and flex time (17%). The type of working arrangements used varied by sex. Females were more likely to use part-time work (32%) than males (4%). Males were more likely than females to use paid leave (40% compared to 27%), a rostered day off (22% compared to 14%), flex time (22% compared to 13%) and working from home (16% compared to 10%).

Working arrangements used to care, sex - 2000

Whether wanted to make more use of working arrangements for caring

Of those carers who were employees in paid employment, an estimated 117,800 (12%) wanted to make more use of some form of working arrangement to care for another person. This varied by sex and sector of employment. A higher proportion of females than males in the government and public service sector wanted to make more use of working arrangements (18% compared to 11%). Females in the government and public service sector also wanted to make more use of working arrangements than females in the private sector (18% compared to 12%).

Working arrangements wanted

Working arrangements people wanted to make more use of included flex time (29%), paid leave (26%) and working from home (20%). The main reasons for not making more use of working arrangements were did not have adequate working arrangements (36%) and work commitments (35%).


An estimated 307,500 or 15% of all carers were self employed. Of these 49,200 (16%) had started their own business or become a contractor because it made it easier for them to provide care for another person. Females were more likely than males to become a contractor or start their own business because it made caring responsibilities easier (29% compared to 9%).


An estimated 573,900 or 29% of all carers were not looking for paid work. Of these 228,000 (40%) were not looking for work primarily because of their caring responsibilities. This was higher for females (47%) than males (12%). The main source of income for carers not looking for paid work were spouse or partners income (59%) and Centrelink payments (36%).


In October 2000, there were an estimated 777,500 females aged 18–54 with a child under the age of 15. Of these 39,200 (5%) had resigned from a job in the last five years because sufficient maternity leave was not available. An estimated 154,900 females aged 18–54 with a child under the age of 15 took maternity leave in the last five years. Of these 124,900 (81%) took more that 4 weeks unpaid maternity leave during their most recent pregnancy.



1 This publication contains results from the 2000 NSW State Supplementary Survey, Managing Caring Responsibilities and Paid Employment. The survey was conducted throughout NSW during the two weeks commencing Monday 9 October 2000, as a supplement to the ABS Monthly Population Survey.

2 The Monthly Population Survey is a multi-stage area sample of private dwellings and non-private dwellings (hotels, motels, caravan parks, etc). Information is obtained from the occupants of selected dwellings by specially trained interviewers.

3 For details of the design, scope and coverage of the Monthly Population Survey, readers should refer to any recent edition of the ABS publication, Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) and the Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design (cat. no. 6269.0).


4 Information was collected by either face to face or telephone interview from one responsible adult per household for all household members aged 18 years and over. This survey was conducted using seven-eighths of the full sample of private dwellings in New South Wales that were included in the Monthly Population Survey and excluded:
  • visitors to the household;
  • members of the permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from censuses and surveys;
  • overseas residents in Australia;
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia; and
  • residents of non-private dwellings such as hospitals and motels.

5 Information was sought from approximately 12,600 persons, of whom about 11,700 (93%) responded.


6 Coverage rules were applied to ensure that each person was associated with only one dwelling, and hence had only one chance of selection in the survey.


7 Estimates have been rounded and discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


8 Some of the tables in this publication include a column or row which is headed 'Other'. These contain respondent answers which could not be entered into any of the pre-coded response categories. The 'Other' categories are generally made up of widely varying responses given by a small proportion of the survey population. Wherever possible, a summarised content of the 'Other' category is footnoted at the end of each relevant table. Further information is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) contact on the front cover of this publication.


9 Australian Bureau of Statistics 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.


10 The ABS produces a wide range of publications containing social and demographic statistics. Other ABS publications which relate to this survey topic include:

Balancing Work and Caring Responsibilities, Tasmania, October 1999 (cat. no. 4903.6)

Career Experience, Australia, November 1998 (cat. no. 6254.0)

Working Arrangements, Australia, August 1997 (cat. no. 6342.0)

Workers with Family Responsibilities, Western Australia, October 1993 (cat. no. 4408.5)

Australia's Families — Selected findings from the Survey of Families in Australia, March – May 1992 (cat. no. 4418.0)

Employment Arrangements and Superannuation, Australia, April – June 2000 (cat. no. 6361.0)

Child Care, Australia, June 1999 (cat. no. 4402.0)



In addition to the statistics provided in this publication, ABS can produce upon request customised tables cross-classifying any of the following information. Inquiries should be made to the contact person shown at the front of this publication. Information collected in the survey included:


Type of household, e.g. person living alone, married couple only, etc.

Population, Sydney/balance of state

Age/sex of survey respondent


Whether cared for someone

Frequency of care


Employment status

Whether not looking for work

Number of hours worked

Whether had more than one job

Sector of employment

Working Arrangements

Whether used working arrangements to care for another person

Whether wanted to make more use of working arrangements to care for another person

Reasons could not make more use of working arrangements to care for another person

Changes made to care for another person

Whether wanted to make any job changes but could not because of caring responsibilities

Whether became self employed to make it easier to care for another person

Whether this was the main reason became self employed

Whether main reason not looking for work is because of caring responsibilities

Maternity Leave

Whether have taken maternity leave in the last five years

Whether more than four weeks unpaid maternity leave was taken

Sources of income during unpaid maternity leave

Main source of income during unpaid maternity leave

Whether resigned from a job in the last five years because sufficient maternity leave was not available

Data can be classified by the following variables:
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Household type
  • Country of birth
  • Year of arrival in Australia
  • Labour force region (NSW only)

To discuss your data requirements or for further information regarding this survey please contact Michael Clarke on Sydney 02 9268 4660.



For the purposes of this survey a carer is defined as any persons in NSW aged 18 years or over, who, in the last 6 months:

had a child under 15 years of age, as well as anyone who cared for someone else including:
  • any other child under 15 years of age
  • an elderly person
  • any person with a short or long term sickness, injury or condition where this care is not done as part of paid work.

It is possible for a carer to provide care to more than one person.

Casual work

Work for which the employee does not receive paid holiday leave or sick leave. A casual loading is generally paid on top of the normal permanent wage to compensate for not receiving these benefits.

Contractor or in own business

A person who nominated working as a contractor or working in their own business as being their main job.


Person who worked for one hour or more during the Labour Force reference week, for pay, profit, commission or payment-in-kind, or who had a job but was not at work.

Flex time

Arrangement whereby an employee can take time off work that must be made up at a later date or that has already been accrued by working extra hours (also known as time off in lieu).

Maternity leave

Paid or unpaid leave provided by an employer to a female employee, covering a set period preceding and immediately following the birth of a child. Only women aged between 18 and 54 who had a child under 15 and who nominated that they had taken maternity leave in the last 5 years were included. Women on maternity leave at the time of the survey were also included.

Not looking for work

Persons who are not looking for part-time or full-time work.

Part-time work

Employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours a week.

Rostered day off

A day off work arranged to limit total time worked to standard hours.

Sector of employment

Used to classify persons according to whether their employer is a public or private enterprise. Categories used were, the Government or Public Service, a Private Company or Business and Other which included government corporations and community based (nonprofit) organisations.

Self employed

See contractor or in own business above.

Types of working arrangements

Respondents were asked about various work arrangements and types of leave used for caring. These include flex time; rostered day off; working from home; time off in lieu; shift work; part-time work; casual work; informal arrangements with employer; paid leave; and unpaid leave. Perceptions of these terms were left to the respondent. Only carers who were employees were asked questions about these working arrangements.

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