Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
6342.0.80.002 - Flexible Working Arrangements in Queensland, Oct 2010 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2011   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

VOLUNTEERING


INTRODUCTION

Why the information was collected

Unpaid voluntary work is of growing importance to the community. Questions regarding volunteering were included in this survey in an effort to both understand volunteering in Queensland and support further analysis of its relationship to flexible working arrangements. The ABS defines unpaid voluntary work as the 'provision of unpaid help willingly undertaken in the form of time, service or skills, to an organisation or group, excluding work done overseas'.


What information was collected?

The survey gathered data on whether people had volunteered in the 12 months prior to October 2010. Questions about types of volunteering activities, how often people volunteered and whether their participation in unpaid voluntary work had increased, decreased or stayed the same over the 12 months were also asked.


Who was asked?

All survey respondents were asked the unpaid voluntary work questions.


Where to find the information

The key findings for all variables are contained within this publication.

The underlying data, percentages and RSEs for the information presented in this publication can be found in the accompanying data cubes.


Other ABS data on Voluntary Work

The overall volunteering rate recorded in this survey (21%) is lower than was estimated in the 2006 General Social Survey (GSS) (see ABS publication Voluntary Work, Australia, 2006 cat. no. 4441.0) where an estimated 38% of people in Queensland participated in some type of volunteering activity. By further comparison the 2006 Census of Population and Housing recorded an overall volunteering rate of 18% in Queensland.

A direct comparison of the volunteering rates between this survey and the 2006 General Social Survey and the 2006 Census of Population and Housing should be made with caution due to differences in the scope of each survey and interviewer methodology.

In the Flexible Working Arrangements in Queensland survey interviewers provided the definition of volunteering and then asked whether respondents had done any unpaid voluntary work in Australia in the 12 months prior to October 2010. The respondent was asked to answer this question for themselves as well as on behalf of every eligible adult in the household.


Key Points of Difference:

In the 2006 General Social Survey, the same method was followed except that examples of the types of organisations for which one could volunteer were provided to respondents (by way of a prompt card) before being asked if they had participated in any unpaid voluntary work. Further, respondents were only required to answer for themselves.

By comparison, the 2006 Census of Population and Housing is a self-completed questionnaire with the definition of volunteering provided in the accompanying guide (which respondents may not necessarily have read).

Note that unpaid voluntary work was measured in the 2010 General Social Survey, the results of which will be released on 27 September 2011 and volunteering data will also be measured in 2011 Census of Population and Housing.


KEY FINDINGS

Volunteering and age

Participation in unpaid voluntary work was more common in the older age groups. The highest proportion of volunteering occurred in those aged 65 years and over (31%), followed by those aged 45-54 years (26%) and those aged 55-64 years (25%). Note that the scope of the survey dictated that those in the 65 years and over age group who were permanently not intending to work were not included in the survey. Results obtained for this age group may therefore not be representative of all persons in the 65 years and over age group.

PARTICIPATION IN VOLUNTARY WORK, By age group - Queensland - 2010
Graph: PARTICIPATION IN VOLUNTARY WORK, By age group—Queensland—2010



Volunteering and sex

A higher proportion of females participated in unpaid voluntary work (25%) than males (18%).


Volunteering and marital status

The proportion of married people who participated in unpaid voluntary work (23%) was significantly higher than the proportion of volunteering among people who were not married (18%).


Volunteering and household/family type

Higher proportions of volunteering were found among people living in lone person households (26%) or in couple families with dependent children and/or dependent students (25%). The lowest proportion of volunteering was found in people living in one parent families with non-dependent students (14%).


Volunteering by full-time/part-time employment type

Where part-time or full-time employment type status could be established there was a significantly higher proportion of volunteering among part-time workers (26%) compared with full-time workers (20%).


Volunteering and sector of employment

Where sector of employment could be established, people in the government sector were significantly more likely to have volunteered (26%) than people in the private sector (18%). There were no significant differences in the volunteering proportions between the levels of government with 27% of commonwealth and 26% of state employees volunteering.


Volunteering and industry

The three industries with the highest proportion of people having done unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were education and training (39%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (37%) and professional, scientific and technical services (28%). The three industries with the lowest proportion of people having done unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were mining (14%), information media and telecommunications (13%) and transport, postal and warehousing (13%).

PARTICIPATION IN VOLUNTARY WORK, By industry - Queensland - 2010
Graph: PARTICIPATION IN VOLUNTARY WORK, By industry—Queensland—2010



Volunteering and occupation

The occupations with the highest proportion of people having done unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were professionals (29%) and managers (28%). The occupations with the lowest proportion of people having participated in unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 were technicians and trade workers (15%) and machinery operators and drivers (11%).


Types of volunteering activities

The most common unpaid voluntary activity was fundraising, with 41% of people who volunteered indicating they had participated in fundraising in the 12 months prior to October 2010. The next most popular volunteering activities were teaching, instructing, coaching or refereeing (34%) and committee work (31%).

TYPE OF VOLUNTEERING ACTIVITY DONE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, By persons - Queensland - 2010
Graph: TYPE OF VOLUNTEERING ACTIVITY DONE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, By persons—Queensland—2010


There were differences in the types of volunteering activities undertaken by males and females. Male volunteers were significantly more likely than female volunteers to participate in repairing, maintenance or gardening and emergency or community safety. Female volunteers were significantly more likely to participate in fundraising, preparing or serving food or drink and caring for the aged, disabled or sick.

TYPE OF THE VOLUNTEERING ACTIVITY DONE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, By sex - Queensland - 2010
Graph: TYPE OF THE VOLUNTEERING ACTIVITY DONE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, By sex—Queensland—2010



How often usually volunteered

An estimated 40% of volunteers usually volunteered at least once a week while 23% usually volunteered less than once a month. Only 3% of people volunteered every day. Results for males and females are quite similar; however, females reported volunteering more frequently than males. The proportions of females volunteering every day or at least once a week were higher than males, but the proportions of males volunteering at least once a month, or less than once a month were higher than females.

FREQUENCY OF VOLUNTEERING IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, By sex - Queensland - 2010
Graph: FREQUENCY OF VOLUNTEERING IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS, By sex—Queensland—2010


The type of voluntary activity that recorded the highest proportion of participation at least once a week was teaching, instructing, coaching or refereeing where 57% of the total unpaid voluntary work for this type of activity was provided at least once a week.

Similarly, the type of volunteering activity that recorded the highest proportion of participation at least once a month was environmental protection; 33% of the total unpaid voluntary work for this type of activity was provided at least monthly.


Whether volunteering has increased, decreased, or stayed the same

The majority of volunteers indicated their level of participation in volunteering had stayed the same in the 12 months prior to October 2010 (60%). The proportion of people who had increased their participation (20%) was almost the same as the proportion who had decreased their participation (18%). Those aged 15-24 years showed the highest proportion of people who had increased their participation in volunteering (23%) and those aged 65 years and over had the highest proportion of people whose volunteering participation had stayed the same (75%).


Volunteering and work preferences

There was no significant difference in the volunteering proportion between people who would have preferred to work fewer hours (22%), more hours (20%) or the same hours of work (19%).

Of the people who selected unpaid voluntary or community responsibilities as one of the reasons they would have preferred to work fewer hours, 65% had participated in unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010.


Volunteering and flexible working arrangements

People who had participated in unpaid voluntary work in the 12 months prior to October 2010 used more flexible working arrangements than people who did not volunteer. An estimated 64% of volunteers and 56% of non-volunteers used some type of flexible working arrangements. Volunteers recorded higher proportions of use of all flexible working arrangements than non-volunteers.

In the use of the two flexible working arrangements; working from home or alternative workplace and choosing start and finish times, there was a significant difference between volunteers and non-volunteers. In both arrangements volunteers utilised there arrangements more.

USE OF FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS, By volunteer status - Queensland - 2010
Graph: USE OF FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS, By volunteer status—Queensland—2010


There are no significant differences in the use of flexible working arrangements between males and females who volunteer. The most commonly used flexible working arrangement was choosing when to take annual leave.

USE OF FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS, By volunteer status - Queensland - 2010
Graph: USE OF FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS, By volunteer status—Queensland—2010



Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.