Employee Earnings and Hours (Survey of)

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    NAME OF ORGANISATION
    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    OVERVIEW
    The Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (EEH) is a sample survey of employers conducted biennially in May of each second year. The survey is designed to provide statistics on the composition and distribution of earnings and hours of wage and salary earners and whether their pay is set by award, collective agreement, individual agreement or contract.

    PURPOSE
    Results from the survey are used by Commonwealth and State government departments, employer associations, and trade unions in developing and reviewing wages and labour market policies and in the wage negotiating process. Data are extensively used for the Federal Living Wage case and for determining the number of persons (in both full-time and part-time employment) who qualify for coverage of the wages provisions of the WA Minimum Conditions of Employment Act, in as far as the Act relates to wages.

    SCOPE
    All wage and salary earners who received pay for the reference period are represented in the survey, except:

    • members of the Australian permanent defence forces;
    • employees of enterprises primarily engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishing;
    • employees in private households employing staff;
    • employees of overseas embassies, consulates, etc.;
    • employees based outside Australia; and
    • employees on workers' compensation who are not paid through the payroll.

    Also excluded are the following persons who are not regarded as employees for the purposes of the survey:
    • casual employees who did not receive pay during the reference period;
    • employees on leave without pay who did not receive pay during the reference period;
    • employees on strike, or stood down, who did not receive pay during the reference period;
    • directors who are not paid a salary;
    • proprietors/partners of unincorporated businesses;
    • self-employed persons such as subcontractors, owner/drivers, consultants; and
    • persons paid solely by commission without a retainer.

    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework
    Not applicable

    Main outputs

    • Earnings: Average weekly ordinary time, average weekly overtime and average weekly total earnings, by employee characteristics, occupation, industry, sector and state. Also, distribution of earnings by earnings ranges and percentiles. For the first time in 2002 details of amounts salary sacrificed will be available.
    • Hours: Average weekly ordinary hours paid for, average weekly overtime hours paid for and average weekly total hours paid for by employee characteristics, occupation, industry, sector and state.
    • Method of setting pay: Proportions of employees and wage outcomes by type of wage-setting agreement, by employee characteristics, occupation, industry, sector, state and jurisdiction.
    • Employee numbers: The cessation of the private sector SEE collection means that employment numbers may be required to be released.

    Classifications
    Industry is classified according to the Australia and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC), 1993.
    Occupation is classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), 2nd edition and is based on the occupation title and main tasks or duties of the employee.

    Care should be taken when comparing survey estimates based on ASCO groups with estimates based on the managerial/non-managerial status of employees, which is determined and reported by the employer, as these two classifications are not comparable. Estimates for employees with manager status include employees classified to ASCO categories other than the ASCO major group 'Managers and Administrators', e.g. employees classified as Professionals according to ASCO may be categorised by employers as having managerial status. Conversely, tables which contain estimates for non-managerial employees will include some employees who would be classified to the ASCO major group 'Managers and Administrators'.

    Other concepts (summary)
    Methods of Setting Pay
    Questions on how employees' pay was set in the survey reference period were included in the survey for the first time in May 2000. The questions collected data on whether all or any part of their pay was set by an individual agreement, collective agreement, award, or a combination of these. Data was also collected on whether agreements (individual and collective) were certified, approved or registered with an industrial tribunal or authority and under what jurisdiction. For employees whose pay was set by an award, data was also collected on whether they received more than the rate of pay specified in the award. Employees have been classified to the different pay setting methods (individual agreements, collective agreements, or awards only) based on how their pay was set in the survey reference period. Employees who had any part of their pay set by more than one method were allocated to a single category using the following hierarchy. Employees who had their pay set by:

    • an individual agreement as well as a collective agreement and/or an award were classified to the individual agreement category,
    • a collective agreement and an award were classified to the collective agreement category.

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    1. National & State/Territory\1.01 Australia
    1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.01 New South Wales
    1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.02 Victoria
    1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.03 Queensland
    1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.04 South Australia
    1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.05 Western Australia
    1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.06 Tasmania
    1. National & State/Territory\1.03 Selected States or Territories only\1.03.07 Northern Territory

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    The largest geographical area covered is Australia. Estimates by State or Territory are available. Estimates for geographic areas below State or Territory level are not available.
    Business within the Jervis Bay territory and external territories {Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands} are out of scope of the survey.

    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    2 Yearly

    Frequency comments
    Annual frequency up to and including the 1996 cycle; biennial commencing with the 1998 cycle. See Collection History for further details.

    COLLECTION HISTORY
    The collection began in 1974 and was conducted annually until 1981, when a government decision was made to continue the survey on a biennial basis. As a result, no survey was run in 1982 or 1984, however, in 1986, it was resumed on an annual basis up to and including the 1996 collection. After this period it again reverted to a biennial collection (due to an ABS initiative to reduce provider load) with no survey being run in 1997 or 1999.

    Data is available in electronic form for 1983 and 1985 onwards with data prior to 1983 only available from publications. A break in the series exists between 1985 and 1986 due to the introduction of ASCO to replace CCLO in the coding of occupations.

    Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (EEH)
    1974 Survey introduced.
    75-81 Survey conducted annually.
    1982 Survey not conducted.
    1984 Survey not conducted.
    1997 Survey not conducted - collection now Biennial.
    1999 Survey not conducted.
    2000 Redevelopment of the collection instrument with the inclusion of additional questions on industrial arrangements and wage outcomes and the deletion of the 'overaward and overagreement pay' and standard hours worked questions.

    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments
    Final estimates availability of unpublished data is listed under the Special Data Service section in the publication Employee Earnings and Hours (6306.0)


    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    22/05/2002 11:44 AM