6333.0 - Characteristics of Employment, Australia, August 2017 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2018   
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GLOSSARY

Agreement to work flexible hours

An agreement that is either in writing or otherwise. A written agreement can be in the form of, but not limited to, an individual written agreement between an employer and employee, or a Collective Agreement or Certified Agreement (CA) made directly between an employer and a group of employees.

Born in Australia

Includes persons born in Australia, Norfolk Island and Australian External Territories.

Continuous duration with current employer/business

The length of the current period of employment people had with their employer or in their own business. The length of time includes periods of paid leave, unpaid leave or strike.

Did not draw a wage or salary

Consists of persons who worked in their own incorporated enterprise only i.e. Owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs).

Employed persons

People aged 15 years and over who, during the reference week:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind, in a job or business or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or
  • worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or
  • were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:
      • away from work for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week;
      • away from work for more than four weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the reference week;
      • away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement;
      • on strike or locked out;
      • on workers' compensation and expected to return to their job; or
  • were employers or own account workers who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.

Contributing family workers in their main job were excluded from the Characteristics of Employment Survey.

Employees

From August 2014, the Characteristics of Employment (COE) Survey definition of employees differs from the definition used in surveys prior to July 2014 including, the Labour Force Survey, other household surveys (including earlier Forms of Employment, Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership and Working Time Arrangements surveys). See Appendix: Status of employment and population concordance for more information.

Employees are persons who:
  • worked for a public or private employer; and
  • received remuneration in wages or salary; or are paid a retainer fee by their employer and worked on a commission basis, for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind.

Fixed-term contract

A contract of employment which specifies that the employment will be terminated on a particular date/event.

Full-time workers in main job

People who were employees in their main job and were:
  • Single job holders who usually work 35 hours or more a week, or usually work fewer than 35 hours but worked 35 hours or more during the reference week; or
  • Multiple job holders who usually work 35 hours or more in their main job and those who, although usually working fewer than 35 hours in their main job, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week.

Full-time workers

Employed persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and others who, although usually worked less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week. These people were classified as full-time workers.

Holiday leave

The entitlement of an employee to paid holiday, paid vacation or paid recreation leave in their main job.

Hours paid for in main job

The number of hours for which employees and OMIEs were paid in their main job in their last pay, not necessarily the number of hours actually worked during the reference week (e.g. a person on paid leave for the week was asked to report the number of hours for which they were paid).

Hours usually worked

The number of hours usually worked in a week.

Hours worked

The number of hours actually worked during the reference week.

Independent contractors

Independent contractors are persons who operate their own business and who are contracted to perform services for others without having the legal status of an employee, i.e. persons who are engaged by a client, rather than an employer to undertake the work. Independent contractors are engaged under a contract for services (a commercial contract), whereas employees are engaged under a contract of service (an employment contract).

Independent contractors' employment may take a variety of forms, for example, they may have a direct relationship with a client or work through an intermediary. Independent contractors may have employees, however they spend most of their time directly engaged with clients or on client tasks, rather than managing their staff.

Industry

An industry is a group of businesses or organisations that undertake similar economic activities to produce goods and/or services. In this publication, industry refers to ANZSIC Division as classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0) (cat. no. 1292.0).

Level of highest educational attainment

Level of highest educational attainment identifies the highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study. It is not a measurement of the relative importance of different fields of study but a ranking of qualifications and other educational attainments regardless of the particular area of study or the type of institution in which the study was undertaken. It is categorised according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education, 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0) Level of education classification.

Level of highest non-school qualification


A person's level of highest non-school qualification is the highest qualification a person has attained in any area of formal study other than school study. It is categorised according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education, 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0) Level of education classification.

Main job

The job in which the most hours were usually worked.

Maternity/paternity leave

The provision by an employer of paid maternity/paternity leave.

Mean weekly earnings

The amount obtained by dividing the total earnings of a group by the number of employees and OMIEs in that group.

Median weekly earnings

The amount which divides the distribution of employees and OMIEs into two groups of equal size, one having earnings above and the other below that amount.

Multiple jobholder

Employed persons who, during the reference week, worked in more than one job. Multiple jobholders exclude those who changed employer during the reference week. People who were unpaid voluntary workers or on unpaid trainee/work placement in their second job were excluded from the Multiple jobholder population.

Information on earnings in main job is collected from all multiple jobholders. Information on earnings in second job is only collected from multiple jobholders who were employees or OMIEs in their second job and were an employee or OMIEs in their main job.

Occupation

An occupation is a collection of jobs that are sufficiently similar in their title and tasks, skill level and skill specialisation which are grouped together for the purposes of classification. In this publication, occupation refers to Major Group and Sub-Major Group as defined by ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0).

On call

A shift arrangement, for being available, when not at work, to be contacted to resume work. An allowance may be paid to the employee for being on call.

Overtime

Work undertaken which is outside, or in addition to, ordinary working hours in main job, whether paid or unpaid.

Owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs)

People who work in their own incorporated enterprise, that is, a business entity which is registered as a separate legal entity to its members or owners (may also be known as a limited liability company).

An owner manager of an incorporated enterprise may or may not hire one or more employees in addition to themselves and/or other owners of that business. See Status of Employment for more information.

Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises (OMUEs)

A person who operates his or her own unincorporated enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade.

An owner manager of an unincorporated enterprise may or may not hire one or more employees in addition to themselves and/or other owners of that business. See Status of Employment for more information.

Paid leave entitlements

The entitlement of employees to either paid holiday leave, paid sick leave in their main job.

Part-time workers in main job

People who were employees in their main job and were:
  • Single job holders who usually work fewer than 35 hours a week, and did so in the reference week; or
  • Multiple job holders who actually worked fewer than 35 hours in their main job in the reference week, or were away from their main job but usually work fewer than 35 hours a week in their main job.

Part-time workers

Employed persons who usually worked fewer than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work in the reference week. In this publication, part-time workers relates to part-time workers who were employees in their main job.

Reference week

The week preceding the week in which the interview was conducted.

Second job

A job, other than the main job.

Sector of main job

Sector of main job is used to classify a respondent’s employer as a public or private enterprise. The public sector includes all government units, such as government departments, non-market non-profit institutions that are controlled and mainly financed by government, and corporations and quasi-corporations that are controlled by government.

Shift work

A system of working whereby the daily hours of operation at the place of employment are split into at least two set work periods (shifts) for different groups of workers. Types of shifts include:
  • Irregular shifts - Describes shifts that do not follow a set pattern.
  • Regular shifts - Shifts worked to a set pattern of times. Regular shift times are presented as follows:
    • morning shifts - between 6.00am and 12.00pm;
    • afternoon shifts - between 12.00pm and 5.00pm; and
    • evening, night or graveyard shift - between 5.00pm and 6.00am.
  • Rotating shift - A shift arrangement, in which the shift worked changes periodically from one time period to another, for example from mornings or afternoons to evenings or nights.
  • Split shift - Occurs when the worked period is broken by an extended unpaid 'free' period, thereby constituting an extended working day consisting of two (or more) shifts.

Sick leave

The entitlement of an employee to paid sick leave in their main job.

Standby

People who are usually waiting to restart work or people who have had to restart work after being recalled, without additional pay and allowances.

Status of Employment

Status of employment is determined by an employed person's position in relation to their job, and is usually in respect of a person's main job if they hold more than one job. Employed persons are classified according to the reported relationship between the person and the enterprise for which they work, together with the legal status of the enterprise where this can be established. The groups include:
  • Employees
  • OMIEs
    • OMIEs with employees
    • OMIEs without employees
  • OMUEs
    • OMUEs with employees
    • OMUEs without employees and
  • Contributing family workers.

Weekly earnings

Amount of ‘last total pay’ (i.e. before taxation, salary sacrifice and other deductions had been made) from wage and salary jobs prior to the interview. For persons paid other than weekly, earnings were converted to a weekly equivalent. No adjustment was made for any back payment of wage increases, prepayment of leave or bonuses, etc.

With paid leave entitlements

Employees who were entitled to either paid holiday leave or paid sick leave (or both) in their main job.

Without paid leave entitlements

Employees who were not entitled to paid holiday leave and paid sick leave, or did not know whether they were entitled to paid holiday leave or paid sick leave in their main job.

Worked on a fixed-term contract

Employees with a contract of employment which specifies that the employment will be terminated on a particular date/event.