6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2013 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/08/2013   
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Adult employees

Adult employees are those employees 21 years of age or over and those employees who, although under 21 years of age, are paid at the full adult rate for their occupation.

Average weekly cash earnings

Average weekly cash earnings represents average gross (before tax) earnings of employees, inclusive of salary sacrifice. Average weekly cash earnings differs from average weekly earnings by the average weekly amount salary sacrificed.

Average weekly earnings

Average weekly earnings statistics represent average gross (before tax) earnings of employees and do not relate to average award rates nor to the earnings of the 'average person'. Estimates of average weekly earnings are derived by dividing estimates of weekly total earnings by estimates of number of employees.


Employees refer to all wage and salary earners (as defined in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Explanatory Notes) who received pay for any part of the reference period.

Full-time employees

Full-time employees are permanent, temporary and casual employees who normally work the agreed or award hours for a full-time employee in their occupation and received pay for any part of the reference period. If agreed or award hours do not apply, employees are regarded as full-time if they ordinarily work 35 hours or more per week.

Reference period

The reference period for the survey is the last pay period ending on or before the third Friday of the middle month of the reference quarter. Where a pay period is fortnightly or monthly, etc., the employer is requested to report only one week's proportion.

Salary Sacrifice

Salary sacrifice is defined as an arrangement where an employee agrees to forgo part of their pre-tax salary in return for benefits. Common types of salary sacrifice arrangements include pre-tax contributions to superannuation funds and novated leases for motor vehicles.


Public sector includes all local government authorities and government departments, agencies and authorities created by, or reporting to the Commonwealth and State parliaments. All remaining employees are classified as private sector.

Weekly ordinary time earnings

Weekly ordinary time earnings refers to one week's earnings of employees for the reference period, attributable to award, standard or agreed hours of work. It is calculated before taxation and any other deductions (e.g. superannuation, board and lodging) have been made. Included in ordinary time earnings are award, workplace and enterprise bargaining payments, and other agreed base rates of pay, over-award and over-agreed payments, penalty payments, shift and other allowances, commissions and retainers, bonuses and similar payments related to the reference period, payments under incentive or piecework, payments under profit sharing schemes normally paid each pay period, payment for leave taken during the reference period, all workers' compensation payments made through the payroll, and salary payments made to directors. Excluded are amounts salary sacrificed, non cash components of salary packages, overtime payments, reimbursements to employees for travel, entertainment, meals and other expenditure incurred in conducting the business of their employer, and other payments not related to the reference period.

Weekly total earnings

Weekly total earnings of employees is equal to weekly ordinary time earnings plus weekly overtime earnings.