6102.0.55.001 - Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Feb 2018  
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This document was added or updated on 26/05/2020.

PREGNANCY AND EMPLOYMENT TRANSITIONS SURVEY


INTRODUCTION

The Pregnancy and Employment Transitions Survey (PaETS) presents employment transitions information on birth mothers of a child less than 2 years of age living with them at the time of interview.

In situations where women had more than one child under the age of 2, data was collected in respect of the employment transitions of women around the most recent birth (i.e. the youngest child).

Data are collected about women's jobs during pregnancy; the first job started or returned to after the birth; current job details; partners job while the woman was pregnant; partners first job started or returned to after the birth; and partners current job details are cross-classified by characteristics such as income, industry and occupation and demographic characteristics.

This section describes only those aspects of the methodology that are unique to this survey, and should therefore be read in conjunction with the overview part of this section, which outlines the survey methodology used in supplementary surveys.


SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

The current Pregnancy and Employment Transitions survey questionnaire is available from Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia (cat. no. 4913.0), as a PDF file on the Downloads tab.


SURVEY OUTPUT

Data from the survey are published in Pregnancy and Employment Transitions, Australia (cat. no. 4913.0). More detailed data may be available on request.

Data are collected about women's jobs during pregnancy; the first job started or returned to after the birth; current job details; partners job while the woman was pregnant; partners first job started or returned to after the birth; and partners current job details are cross-classified by characteristics such as income, industry and occupation and demographic characteristics.

Subgroups of interest in understanding pregnancy/birth related employment transitions for birth mothers living in private dwellings with a child under two years of age include:

  • Employment transitions before the birth of their child:
    • women who had a current partner, and whether that partner was the same partner during pregnancy;
    • women who had a job while pregnant and whether they worked in that job; and
    • women who left the job that they had while pregnant.
  • Employment transitions after the birth of their child:
    • women who started or returned to work after the birth;
    • age of child when women started or returned to work; and
    • employment status of women.

The main population of interest is women with child under 2 years. Estimates are produced on an original basis only (i.e. not seasonally adjusted) and include:

Socio-demographic information
    Sex; age; social marital status; relationship in household; state or territory of usual residence; and country of birth and period of arrival in Australia.

Household details
    Number of persons; number of children under 15; household composition, household type; and family composition.

Income details
    Main source of income; total current household income per week; equivalised gross household income; all sources of household income; weekly household income; total household income; and weekly income.

Women’s and partners job
    Labour force status in main job; status in employment in main job; employment type in main job; multiple jobholder status; hours worked in main job/all jobs; full-time or part-time status in main job/all jobs; industry; occupation; continuous duration in main job; whether had and entitled to paid leave entitlements; sector in employment; and types of and whether used flexible work arrangements in main job.

Women’s and partners job while women pregnant
    Whether had a job, status in employment; employment type; hours worked; whether changed usual hours; full-time or part-time status; paid leave entitlements; discrimination; paid parent leave; number of weeks leave (full pay or half pay/type of leave); whether took maternity leave; reasons permanently left last main job; and industry/ occupation of partner.

Women’s first job started or returned to after birth of child
    Whether started or returned; reasons not started or returned; age of child; whether returned to same employer/business; whether job changed; status in employment; employment type; hours usually worked; full-time or part-time status; industry/occupation; sector; leave entitlements; type and whether used flexible working arrangements; and childcare.

Women whose partner started or returned to work after birth of child
    Whether partner started or returned; status in employment; employment type; hours usually worked; full-time or part-time status; industry/occupation; sector; whether usual hours of work with same employer/business; whether worked part-time after birth of child to assist with care; and types and whether used flexible arrangements in first main job since birth to assist with the care.


SCOPE

The scope of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is restricted to persons aged 15 years and over and excludes the following persons:
  • 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).

Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.
PaETS is conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excludes persons living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia.

Women aged 15 years and over who had given birth to a child less than 2 years ago and were living with that child were included in the survey. The survey excluded:
  • women who were members of the Australian permanent defence forces;
  • women living in non-private dwellings;
  • visitors to private dwellings; and
  • all males.

In addition, for those women whose partner at the time of interview was not in scope of the survey (e.g. the partner was in the permanent defence forces), the details of the partner's job at the time of the interview was not collected. For these partners, job details were classified as could not be determined.


NOTES ON ESTIMATES

Paid Parental Leave (PPL), Newborn upfront payment and Newborn supplement are only asked of women who either worked in a job or business while pregnant, or who had a job or business they were away from during their pregnancy and did not leave that job before the birth of their child.

Dad and Partner pay questions are asked to partners who either worked in a job or business, or who had a job or business they were away from during the time of the interview.

Women who were employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs)) are classified as 'With paid leave entitlements' if they were entitled to paid sick leave and/or paid holiday leave. In all other cases, employees are classified 'Without paid leave entitlements'.

Full-time or part-time status in job while pregnant after change in hours are calculated on the hours reported by women immediately before stopping work for the birth of child.

Other paid leave comprises of paid sick leave and any other type of paid leave, and other unpaid leave comprises of parental leave and any other type of unpaid leave.

Information about taking types of paid leave (paid maternity, paid holiday or long service leave) is collected for women who were employees (excluding OMIEs) in the job while they were pregnant, who were entitled to a type of paid leave. If women were not entitled to any sort of paid leave, information about unpaid leave for the birth of their child is collected.

Information is collected on any other paid leave taken for the birth of the child for women who were entitled to some sort of paid leave (paid maternity, paid holiday, long service leave or paid sick leave).

For all data items relating to personal income of women, partners and other household members, where women either did not know or refused to report:
  • their income - data are classified as 'Refusal' for estimates of income, but are included in sources of income;
  • partner's income - data are classified as 'Refusal' for estimates of income, but are included in sources of income;
  • other household members income - data are classified as 'Refusal' for estimates of income, but are included in sources of income.

For data items relating to combined income, for example 'Weekly income of women and partner' or 'Weekly household income', where women did not know or refused to report an individual case of income, then data for that item is classified as 'Refusal'.

Additionally, for estimates relating to income, equivalised income and quintiles, responses that included a refusal or a loss of income, are excluded from these estimates.


OTHER ISSUES FOR ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

In analysing and interpreting the PaETS data, users should be aware that women may have difficulty in recalling the circumstances surrounding their employment over the course of a pregnancy (i.e. up to two years prior to interview). As the focus of the survey is women with at least one child less than two years old, some of the information, such as the age of the child when the woman began working after the birth, does not take account of the return to work circumstances of women, whose youngest child was born close to the time of interview, as they may not have returned to work.


DATA COMPARABILITY OVER TIME

2017
  • Survey conducted (November).
  • Survey questions amended to reflect changes to the baby bonus payment.

2011
  • Survey conducted (November).
  • The survey was redeveloped to better capture information on:
    • job details and types of leave taken while women were pregnant;
    • job details about women's first job started or returned to since the birth of the child;
    • women with a child under 2 years, job at time of survey;
    • partners job details and types of leave taken while women were pregnant;
    • job details about partners first job started or returned to since the birth of the child; and
    • partners job details at time of survey.

This survey collected additional information on women's employment transitions during pregnancy; on starting or returning to work; and job details at November 2011. The survey also collected information on leave arrangements of women and partners for the birth of the child; discrimination in the workplace during pregnancy; work arrangements on return to work; whether women had a partner during pregnancy; and the work transitions of these partners.

2005
  • Initial survey conducted (November).
  • The PaETS was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Some broad estimates by state and territory are provided for: the numbers of women who worked while pregnant; women who took maternity leave; and whether they returned to employment with the same employer that they left due to their pregnancy. This survey also included information by state and territory about the length of time (associated with the birth of their child) that women were out of the workforce, the age of the child when they commenced employment after the birth, and the leave arrangements of their partner for the pregnancy/birth.


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