6342.0 - Working Time Arrangements, Australia, November 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/05/2013  Final
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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 2012 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 Information about survey design, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also applies to supplementary surveys, can be found in the publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).


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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in very remote parts of Australia.

7 This survey was restricted to employees in their main job excluding contributing family workers, persons who receive payment in kind, and those aged 15-19 years who were still at school. Owner managers of unincorporated enterprises, persons not in the labour force and unemployed persons were also excluded.


8 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in November 2012. 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 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 sample for WTA is a subsample of 36,803 private dwelling households and special dwelling units included in the ABS monthly LFS in November 2012. The final sample on which estimates are based is composed of 25,959 persons who were aged 15 years and over who were employees in their main job.


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), Second Edition (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, Revision 1, 2009 (cat. no. 1220.0).

15 Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 1.0) (cat. no. 1292.0).


16 Employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs)) have been classified as 'With paid leave entitlements' if they were entitled to paid sick leave and/or paid holiday leave. In all other cases, employees have been classified '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 all days from Monday to Friday, inclusive, were categorised as working Monday to Friday. These people may have reported that they also worked on Saturday and/or Sunday in their job/s. These people are counted in both 'Monday to Friday' and 'Saturday' and/or 'Sunday' depending on which days they worked. In addition, for those who did not work on all of the days Monday to Friday, these people would be counted in each day (e.g. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday) that they usually work. People who reported that the days of the week usually 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 The data item 'Whether usually worked the majority of hours between 7pm and 7am in all jobs' was not collected in November 2009. The data item was reinstated in 2012. In 2006 data was collected of employees about whether they usually worked any hours between 7pm and 7am in all jobs, whereas in November 2012, employees were asked whether they usually worked the majority of hours between 7pm and 7am in all jobs. This change will effect the comparability with data from 2006. Users need to exercise caution when comparing estimates from 2012 with data from 2006.

22 The data item 'Whether usually worked shift work and hours worked in most recent shift' was renamed to 'Whether usually worked shift work and hours usually worked in a shift' following a change to the survey question wording in November 2012. The question now collects data on hours worked in a usual shift rather than the most recent shift. Users need to exercise caution when comparing estimates from 2012 with previous years data.


23 The Labour Force Survey estimates, and estimates from the supplementary surveys, are calculated in such a way as to sum to independent estimates of the civilian population aged 15 years and over (population benchmarks). These population benchmarks are based on Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data. Generally, revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS following the final rebasing of population estimates to the latest five-yearly Census of Population and Housing, or when the need arises.

24 From February 2009 Labour Force Estimates have been compiled using population benchmarks based on the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Revisions were applied to the LFS population benchmarks in July 2010 and November 2012 issues to take into account the latest available population estimates. The latest revision undertaken in December 2012 is reflected in the estimates presented in this issue.

25 Changes to the LFS population benchmarks impact primarily on the magnitude of the Labour Force Survey estimates (i.e. employment and unemployment) that are directly related to the underlying size of the population. For more details on population benchmarks, see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), and for details about the revisions made, see the article in the November 2012 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) and the article in the September 2010 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0).

26 From 2009, the survey included people in very remote areas of Australia except for people living in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in very remote parts of Australia.


27 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.


28 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). In November 2006 the survey was renamed Working Time Arrangements, Australia (cat. no. 6342.0) and conducted on a three yearly basis.


29 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.


30 Tables contained in this publication are released in spreadsheet format. These tables are available from the ABS website.


31 ABS publications which may also be of interest include:
32 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.