Questions on this topic collect information from people aged 15 years and over on four components of unpaid work: unpaid domestic work; unpaid care of others due to disability or old age; unpaid care of children; and voluntary work. Information on unpaid activities is important in identifying the characteristics of carers for people with special needs (such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities) and assists with planning for both work and non-work environments.
Unpaid work was first included as a Census topic in 2006. It had been considered for inclusion in the 2001 Census, but the ABS did not believe there was sufficient justification to modify the labour force questions used in the 1996 Census to include a question on unpaid work. There was concern that modifying the labour force questions would impact on the comparability of the data from previous Censuses and data from the monthly Labour Force Survey.
An Unpaid Work Consultative Committee was established in June 2003 to determine whether there was a need to include a question on unpaid work in the 2006 Census. This committee identified a need at the small area level for information on unpaid work .
Four questions about unpaid work have been included since the 2006 Census:
- unpaid domestic work
- unpaid care of others due to disability, illness or old age
- unpaid care of children
- voluntary work.
A slight alteration has been made to Question 50 for 2016, changing the wording of the two Yes responses to refer to 'own child' rather than 'my child' to avoid ambiguity when the question is being answered in respect of persons 2 or higher on the form.
The following questions are from the paper 2016 Census Household Form.