LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS DATA FROM THE LABOUR FORCE SURVEY
Data on whether employees have access to paid leave entitlements have been collected every three months in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) from August 2014 onwards.
Employees with leave entitlements are those who were entitled to paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or both. Employees without leave entitlements are those who were not entitled to paid holiday leave or paid sick leave, or did not know whether they were entitled to paid holiday leave or paid sick leave. Employees without leave entitlements is the most objective and commonly used measure of casual employment.
Prior to 2014, data on leave entitlements were collected through annual Labour Force supplementary surveys, including Forms of Employment (cat. no. 6359.0) and Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership (cat. no. 6310.0). However, it was not possible to easily produce a coherent time series as the data were contained in different datasets (according to their respective survey) and in some cases were based on particular sets of the employed population. The requirement for increased frequency of time series data relating to casual employment was identified in the review of Labour Force statistics, as detailed in Outcomes of the Labour Household Surveys Content Review (cat. no. 6107.0).
Collecting data on leave entitlements quarterly in the LFS not only enables a frequent time series, but also allows these statistics to be cross-classified with other regularly collected labour force information. Analysis of this item along with data from any supplementary surveys run in February, May, August and November is now also possible.
These statistics on leave entitlements are now generated based on the full LFS scope and sample, unlike supplementary surveys. As a result these new LFS estimates and those from supplementary surveys differ due to the fact that supplementary surveys are not conducted on the full LFS scope and sample (presently they are run on at most seven eighths of the sample). This will lead to some minor differences between LFS estimates and those from supplementary surveys. Also, information from the LFS is periodically revised to reflect the latest population benchmarks, whereas time series data from supplementary surveys have not normally revised.
The new data on leave entitlements are available from the November 2015 issue of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003) in Table 13.
The graph below compares the new LFS data to previously available data from supplementary surveys for estimates of the proportion of employees who did not have access to paid leave entitlements over time. In original terms the proportion of employees who do not have access to leave entitlements in May 2015 was 25.2%, the highest rate since 2007, before the Global Financial Crisis.
PROPORTION OF EMPLOYEES WHO DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS