6342.0 - Working Time Arrangements, Australia, November 2009 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/2010   
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1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Working Time Arrangements Survey, conducted throughout Australia in November 2009 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who fell within the scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


3 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


4 The scope of the LFS is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes the following people:

  • members of the permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from the Census and estimated populations;
  • overseas residents in Australia; and
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

5 Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

6 This supplementary survey 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.

7 Employees in their main job aged 15-19 years who were still at school, contributing family workers, and persons who receive payment in kind, were also excluded from this survey.


8 The estimates in this publication relate to people covered by the survey in November 2009. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


9 Supplementary surveys are not always conducted on the full LFS sample. Since August 1994, the sample for supplementary surveys has been restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the LFS sample.

10 The initial sample for the November 2009 LFS consisted of 34,360 private dwelling households and special dwelling units. Of the 27,702 private dwelling households and special dwelling units that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households selected in the survey which had no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), approximately 26,376 or 95.2% were fully responding to the Working Time Arrangements survey. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwellings and special dwelling units (after taking into account scope, coverage and sub-sampling exclusions) was 24,159.


11 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:
  • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For more information see the Technical Note.
  • Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and effective processing procedures.


12 The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month and, due to seasonal factors, may not be representative of other months of the year.


13 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 1998 (cat. no. 1269.0).

14 From 2006, occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0). This new classification replaces the ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0).

15 Also from 2006, industry data are classified according to the ANZSIC - Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). This new classification replaces the ANZSIC - Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).


16 Employees are classified as 'with paid leave entitlements' if they said 'yes' to either of the following questions:
  • 'Does your employer provide you with paid sick leave?'
  • 'Does your employer provide you with paid holiday leave?'
    In all other cases, employees are categorised as 'without paid leave entitlements'.

17 People with paid leave entitlements were not asked about whether they had any say in the days on which they worked.

18 People who were away from work during the reference week were included in the 'Less than 1 hour/no hours' category for the data item 'Hours actually worked in main job'.

19 For the data item 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', people who reported that they worked from 'Monday to Friday', inclusive, were categorised as working 'Monday to Friday'. These people may have reported that they also worked on Saturday and Sunday in their job/s. People who reported that the usual days of the week worked varied were categorised only to days varied. A response of days varied could not be provided with any other response.

20 The responses given by multiple jobholders for the data items 'Days of the week usually worked in all jobs', 'Number of days of the week usually worked in all jobs' and 'Whether worked weekdays and/or weekends in all jobs', does not imply that this was their usual pattern of work in each of their jobs, rather this was their total pattern of work in all of their jobs.


21 Information for the data item 'Whether compensated for extra hours or overtime worked', presented in the 2006 publication, was collected for employees who usually worked unpaid extra hours or overtime. This has been replaced with the data item, 'Whether usually worked extra hours or overtime and how compensated for overtime worked'. Information for this item was collected from employees who usually worked any extra hours or overtime, regardless of whether it was paid or unpaid.

22 Additionally in 2006, only employees who did not usually work the same number of hours of work each week received questions about whether they were guaranteed a minimum number of hours of work each week. In 2009, all employees were asked whether they were guaranteed a minimum number of hours of work each week.

23 The data item 'Whether had a formal system of working flexible hours' presented in the 2006 publication, has been replaced with 'Whether had an agreement with the employer to work flexible hours' in this publication.

24 The data items, 'Whether usually worked any hours between 7pm and 7am in all jobs' and 'Whether usually worked extra hours or overtime' presented in the 2006 publication, are not available in the 2009 publication, as this information was not collected in November 2009.

25 An additional data item has been presented in the 2009 publication. This item is, 'Whether usually worked shift work and type of shift usually worked'.

26 In 2006, for the data item 'Whether compensated for extra hours or overtime worked', people who reported their most recent period of unpaid overtime was not 'included in their salary package', and they were not 'entitled to receive time off in lieu', and they would not be compensated in some other way, were categorised as having unpaid extra hours or overtime. In 2009, respondents were able to report that they were 'not compensated' for the extra hours or overtime worked.


27 Revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The last such revision was made in February 2009 to take account of the results of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 2009 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.


28 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of this supplementary survey and that of the monthly LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.


29 Results of similar surveys, conducted in August 1993, August 1995, August 1997, November 2000 and November 2003 were published in Working Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0), and in the standard data service Working Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0.40.001). In November 2006 the survey was renamed Working Time Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0).


30 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in November 2012.


31 ABS 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.


32 ABS publications which may also be of interest include:
33 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the Statistics Page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.