Key changes made to Forms of Employment Survey (FOES) include:
Persons who found their job through a labour hire firm/employment agency
In 2011, additional information is presented about persons who found their current job through a labour hire firm/employment agency. These are, 'Whether currently registered with a labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Whether still registered with the same labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Whether paid by a labour hire firm/employment agency', 'Number of work assignments through labour hire firm/employment agency in the last 12 months', 'Whether usually had continuous/ongoing work from a labour hire firm/employment agency', and 'All/Main reasons for using a labour hire firm/employment agency'. This information was previously collected in November 2008.
Revision of population benchmarks
Generally. revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The last major revision was made in February 2004 to take account of the results of the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. However in the second half of 2010 revisions were applied to population benchmarks, including those used for the 2010 Forms of Employment Survey, to take into account more up to date information about Net Overseas Migration (a component of the ERP). For more details on population benchmarks, see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), and for details about the revisions made, see the article in the September 2010 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).
Changes in the scope of the survey
From November 2008 the FOES was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded people living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia.
Form of employment
The following provides an outline of how people are classified in the new 'Form of employment in main job' data item.
People are classified as employees, owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs) and owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (OMUEs) based on their responses to questions in the monthly Labour Force survey (LFS).
Employees from the LFS are people who:
- work for a public or private employer; and
- receive remuneration in wages, salary, or are paid a retainer fee by their employer and worker on a commission basis, or for tips or piece-rates or payment in kind; or
- operated their own incorporated enterprise with or without hiring employees.
Owner managers of incorporated enterprises from the LFS are people who:
- work in their won incorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity in which is registered as a separate legal entity to its members or owners (also known as a limited liability company).
Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises from the LFS are people who:
- operate their own unincorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity in which the owner and the business are legally inseparable, so that the owner is liable for any business debts that are incurred. Includes those engaged independently in a trade or profession.
These people from the LFS are then asked questions in the FOES to identify key characteristics of independent contractors, other business operators. The responses to these questions are then used to determine how people are classified as employees, independent contractors and other business operators in the 'Form of employment' data item.
These questions are:
- "Do you work as an independent contractor in your job?"
- "Do you receive a pay slip/advice?"
- "Do you/Does your business invoice or bill clients/employers?"
- "Excluding wages and salary, are you able to make drawings from your employer/business?"
The following decision table shows how people are classified in the 'Form of employment' data item.
- From December 2012 to April 2013, the ABS conducted a trial of online data collection. Respondents in one rotation group (i.e. one-eighth of the survey sample) were offered the option of self completing their labour force survey questionnaire online instead of via face-to-face or telephone interview. From May 2013, ABS expanded the offer of online electronic collection to 50% of each new incoming rotation group. For more information see the article in the April 2013 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). From September 2013 online electronic collection is offered to 100% of private dwellings in each incoming rotation group.
A measurement strategy was used to identify impacts on the LFS data. No statistical impact has been identified.
- only owner managers of incorporated enterprises and owner managers of unincorporated enterprises were asked if they worked on a contract basis
- only employees (excluding OMIEs) were asked if they worked on a fixed-term contract basis.
In previous surveys
- all employed people were asked if they worked on a contract basis
- people who received both paid sick and paid holiday leave were not asked if they worked on a contract basis.