Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours

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If you need help completing this survey, please call one of our team on 1800 805 797 during business hours. For help outside these hours, please leave a message with your contact details and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Purpose of the survey

The Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (EEH) is conducted every two years with businesses and organisations throughout Australia. Your participation in the survey is essential for producing Australia's labour statistics, including the composition and distribution of employee earnings, hours paid for and the methods used to set employees' pay. These statistics are used to measure the Australian labour market and provide government and industry analysts with key economic indicators to inform decision making.

Thank you. We acknowledge and value your time and effort participating in this survey. It is only with the support of people like you that we can continue to produce the statistics that inform Australia's important decisions.

Frequently asked questions

About this survey

How is the information from EEH used? Why is it important?

EEH is conducted every two years with businesses and organisations throughout Australia. Your participation in the survey is essential for producing Australia's labour statistics. These statistics are used to measure the Australian labour market and provide government and industry analysts with key economic indicators to inform decision making.

What kinds of questions are included in EEH?

The questions cover earnings, hours and characteristics for a sample of employees in your business or organisation. The survey form provides instructions about how to select the sample of employees from your payroll.

Do we have to answer the questions?

Yes. The questions included in this survey are being asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905, which has provisions to make surveys compulsory. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information being requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. Further information can be found under the ABS Legislative Framework.

What is the survey reference date?

The current survey reference date is the last pay period ending on or before 21 May 2021.

Why has this business or organisation been included in EEH?

EEH is answered by a selected group of businesses or organisations that represent the wider Australian community. Businesses or organisations of various sizes and industries are included to produce employee data representative of the full range of occupations in the Australian labour market.

We are a small business or organisation. Should we be included in this survey?

The ABS considers the activities of small businesses or organisations to be as important as larger ones. Smaller businesses or organisations have specific characteristics and can be impacted by government policies and initiatives differently. Small businesses or organisations cannot be excluded from participation in ABS surveys. Answering the EEH questions helps enable government and others to design policies that support the range of businesses across Australia.

How long do we need to participate in the survey?

The Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours is conducted once every two years. A new sample is selected each time the survey is undertaken.

Larger businesses or organisations have a higher chance of selection in multiple ABS business surveys. Some large businesses may be selected each time the survey is conducted due to their significance to the overall survey results.

Smaller businesses or organisations have a lower chance of selection, due to the larger number of small businesses in Australia. However, there will always be some cases where inclusion in more than one survey cannot be avoided, particularly if the business or organisation has a significant impact on measurement of economic activity, for example, due to its type or location.

Do we have to provide the figures right now?

Yes. Users of EEH statistics across industry, business and government need the most accurate and timely information possible so they can make well-informed decisions which impact Australian businesses and communities.

Can we be sure these figures are kept confidential?

Yes. We take the security of the information you provide to us very seriously. Your information remains strictly confidential to the ABS and is not shared with other agencies. We use the information you provide to calculate statistics which are released in ways that do not allow for the identification of individuals, businesses or organisations.

All ABS employees have signed a legally enforceable Undertaking of Fidelity and Secrecy in which they agree to keep any information, including personal information which they may deal with in the course of their work, private and confidential. This agreement applies to ABS employees for the rest of their lives, even if they leave the ABS. The penalty for breaching this is two years jail, a $21,600 fine, or both.

We comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe we have breached these principles, please see the information on how to lodge a complaint about privacy matters, contained within our privacy policy.

Will we be paid for our time?

No. There is no provision within the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to reimburse businesses or organisations for the cost of providing statistical information. In line with other national statistical organisations throughout the world, individuals, businesses and other organisations are asked to supply information for statistical purposes without compensation. It is only with the support of people like you that we can continue to produce the statistics that inform Australia's important decisions.

What if this business or organisation does not have any employees?

Some businesses operate without any employees (for example, businesses operated entirely by owners of unincorporated entities). In this case, please call one of our team on 1800 805 797 and we will assist you. To help us determine the correct course of action for your business or organisation, we will ask you a few questions, such as, is there is any intention for your business or organisation to employ anyone in the future?

What if this business did not operate during the reference period?

If the business you are reporting for has ceased operating or did not operate during the reference period please call one of our team on 1800 805 797 and we will assist you.

We have already completed EEH this year and have received a reminder letter. What should we do?

If you have received a reminder letter about completing EEH, it is likely you have returned the survey at the same time that we issued the reminder letter. If you wish to confirm this, please call one of our team on 1800 805 797 and we will check the information against our records.

How to complete this survey

How do we answer EEH?

You will receive a letter with a code to access your EEH survey form. Simply go online to set up an account or if you already have one, log in and add your Form Access Code to retrieve the form.

The account is a secure service that allows a form to be accessed as many times as is needed before the final submission. The same account can be used to access and answer future surveys.

If you are unable to complete your survey online, please call us on 1800 805 797 and one of our team will assist you.

We're having trouble completing the survey online - where can we find help?

For more information on completing our surveys online, help is available on our Survey Account Help page. This page provides assistance with technical difficulties and includes frequently asked questions which assist in creating and using the ABS Survey Account.

If you are having trouble creating or accessing your account, completing the survey online, or have lost your Form Access Code, please call us on 1800 805 797 and one of our team will be happy to assist you.

If you would like more general information about participating in one of our surveys, please see our Survey Participant Information page.

Using EEH statistics

How can this business or organisation use EEH statistics?

We provide our statistics free of charge on our website. Statistics produced from EEH are published in Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia.

How can we provide feedback about our involvement in EEH?

If you have participated in this survey, or any of our other surveys, we want to hear about your experience. We value your feedback and will use it to improve how we work with our survey participants.

You can use our feedback form to provide us with feedback. For this survey, please select the option "Participation in an ABS Business Survey".

Who can we contact for more information?

For help, or more information about this survey, please call us on 1800 805 797 during business hours. For help outside these hours, please leave a message with your contact details and we will return your call as soon as possible.