6342.0 - Working Time Arrangements, Australia, November 2009 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/2010   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Working Time Arrangements Survey (WTA) collects a range of information about the working arrangements of employees in their main job, such as shift work, extra hours or overtime, and start and finish times. It also presents information about the patterns of employees' work in all jobs. This information can be cross-classified by characteristics such as hours worked, industry and occupation, and demographic characteristics.


The WTA is conducted triennially during November as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Results from this survey are released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration (i.e. during May) in the publication, Working Time Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0).


Estimates from the WTA are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors. Relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the size of the sampling error affecting an estimate, i.e. the error introduced by basing estimates on a sample of the population rather than the full population. Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data.

The WTA was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for state and capital city/balance, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs for all estimates in the publication are available in the Technical Note.


While the LFS provides the official estimate of persons in the labour force, the WTA provides further information on the characteristics of these people. Summary information is also collected in the Labour Force Survey on a quarterly basis.

The ABS has been conducting the WTA since November 2006. Prior to 2006 this publication was titled Working Arrangements, Australia (cat no. 6342.0). Key changes to the WTA include:

For more information on changes to the survey see Chapter 21.16 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).


The Working Time Arrangements, publication contains tables and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the results of the survey. Detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Note and a Glossary are also included providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

Further commentary is often available through articles and data published in other ABS products, including:

Australian Social Trends (cat.no. 4102.0) - refer to the Cumulative list of articles for past articles
Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) - Chapter 21.16 Working Arrangements.


The main product from the survey is a PDF publication, Working Time Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0), released electronically via the ABS website. Additional data may be available on request (subject to data quality). For a list of data items available see Appendix 1 of the publication. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors, and in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070 or contact Labour Market Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.