Locations of Work Survey

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    The Locations of Work survey provides information about the locations where people work (such as their own home or employer's premises) and the job characteristics and working arrangements of people who work at home.


    Data from the survey are relevant to a wide range of policies and programs, including trends in work performed away from the employer's workplace, working conditions, gender equity in the workforce, labour market planning and assistance (e.g. access to child care by working parents), changes in workplace arrangements, and the effects of technology. Information on locations of work will be used to monitor trends in workplace locations.


    This survey is conducted as part of the Monthly Population Survey, which comprises the Labour Force Survey and, in most months, a supplementary survey topic.

    SCOPE - Labour Force Survey

    The Labour Force Survey includes all persons aged 15 and over except:

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

    From July 1993 Jervis Bay Territory is also excluded from the scope of the survey. Before July 1993 it was included in estimates for the Australian Capital Territory.

    SCOPE - Locations of Work Survey

    The Locations of Work survey also excludes students who were boarding at school, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for the handicapped ), and inmates of prisons. This survey is also restricted to employed persons who worked during the reference week.

    From July 1997, all supplementary surveys excluded persons in remote and sparsely settled areas of Australia. The exclusion of these persons has only a minor effect on estimates for individual States or Territories.

    COVERAGE - Labour Force Survey

    In the Labour Force Survey, 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. The chance of a person being enumerated at two separate dwellings in the one survey is considered to be negligible.

    Persons who are away from their usual residence for six weeks or less at the time of interview are enumerated at their usual residence (relevant information may be obtained from other usual residents present at the time of the survey).


    Conceptual framework

    Employed persons were asked about all the different types of locations where they worked in the week prior to interview and were classified by whether or not they worked at home in either their main or second job.

    Persons who worked some hours at home were further classified according to whether they worked more hours at home than elsewhere in that job or less hours at home than elsewhere. Employees who worked less hours at home than elsewhere were then asked whether they had an arrangement with their employer to work at home or not. 'Home' included own home and the home of someone else other than their employer or client.

    For the purposes of this survey, persons employed at home are therefore defined as employed persons who worked all or most hours at home and employees who had an arrangement with their employer to work some hours at home, in their main or second job in the reference week.

    Main outputs

    Results of the Locations of Work Survey including tables and analysis are release in publication format and include:

    All location of work in main and second job, by sex

    Number of locations of work in main and second job

    Main location of work in main job, by age and whether had any children under 15 years, by sex

    Main location of work in main job, by State or Territory of usual residence, by sex

    Main location of work in main job, by birthplace and period of arrival, by sex

    Main location of work in main job, by status in employment, full-time or part-time status and whether single or multiple jobholder

    Single and multiple job holders, by whether did any work at home, by whether has arrangement to work at home

    Age, whether had any children under 15 years, birthplace and period of arrival, by sex

    Selected characteristics of employment, by sex

    Occupation and industry, by sex

    Hours worked at home, by sex

    Selected conditions of employment, by sex

    State or Territory of usual residence, by sex


    Demographics: State, Area, Region, Sex, Marital Status, Relationship in Household, Period of Arrival and Age.

    Country of Birth: The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC).

    Occupation: Australian Standard Classification of Occupations Second Edition (ASCO SE).

    Industry: Australia and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

    Other concepts (summary)
    Not applicable

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Not all data available for all areas.


    Frequency comments



    Results of similar surveys, conducted in April 1989, March 1992 and September 1995 were published in Persons Employed at Home, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 6275.0).

    This survey was redesigned and renamed Locations of Work for June 2000. Conceptual changes were made to better align the survey with the guidelines and recommendations of the International Labour Organisation Home Work Convention, 1996. This resulted in the definition of persons employed at home including work undertaken at both their own home and another home, excluding employer's or client's homes. The definition of persons employed at home was also widened to include farmers who only or mainly worked at home and employees who worked some hours at home with the agreement of their employer.

    The focus of interest of the survey was also changed to address data quality and respondent burden issues. In Locations of Work respondents were asked about their actual work arrangements in the survey reference week rather than their usual situation, as had been done in previous surveys. To gain a broader understanding of where people work, information was also collected about all the types of places where people work rather than only concentrating on whether any work was done at home.


    Data availability comments

    Publication Locations of Work, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 6275.0)

    04/06/2008 08:19 AM