Ready to complete your survey now?
Click the button below to create and log into your ABS Survey Account and complete your survey online.
If your question about the Survey of Employment and Earnings is not answered on this page, or in the information provided on your web form, please contact the ABS on 1800 776 813 (Freecall excluding mobile phones).
Purpose of the survey
The purpose of the survey is to provide estimates of employees and cash wages and salaries for the public sector. Data contribute to the Australian National Accounts, for estimates of compensation of employees and of labour productivity. Other uses of the data include:
- to adjust payments specified in both State and Federal Government Legislation;
- in economic and labour market analysis by both government and private organisations; and
- in representations in the award and wage case submission process.
Data produced by the survey is published annually in Employment and Earnings, Public Sector, Australia.
This page contains information designed to help businesses that are included in the annual Survey of Employment and Earnings for the financial year ended 30 June 2022. For general information about participation in business surveys, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and for assistance with using the online survey form, please see eSurvey - Help.
Thank you for your participation. The ABS is grateful for the cooperation of businesses in submitting completed forms promptly to enable early processing and timely release of results from our surveys. We look forward to your continued support.
Please note that an ABS officer may contact you for clarification on any data that you provide. This additional information helps to ensure that statistics produced by the ABS are fit for purpose and of a high quality.
Frequently asked questions
How do I access the web form?
To access your web form, you will need to log in to your Survey Account at https://abs.gov.au/survey. If you do not have a Survey Account you will need to create one using your email address and a password of your choice. This survey can then be added to your Survey Account by entering the Form Access Code that is included in your letter from the ABS. If you have misplaced your letter, please call 1800 776 813 (free call excluding mobile phones) to request your access code.
Can I save an unfinished web form?
Yes, there is a functionality to save the online form when partially completed so you can return to it later. To do this simply click the 'Print, Save and Exit' button at the top of the form. This will save your form and exit you from the system. You will receive a confirmation message and a printable version of your submitted data. You can then log back in to complete the survey at any time. Please be aware that, for security reasons, if there is inactivity on your computer for 20 minutes the web form will time out without saving.
Can I keep a record of my completed web form?
Yes, the ABS highly recommends that you keep a copy of your completed form for your own personal records.
- To print a copy of the form, click the Print button on the receipt pages.
- A sample version of the form is available to download by clicking 'Preview of survey questions' from the navigation menu.
Can I get an extension or request assistance to complete the web form?
If you need assistance in completing the web form, or have difficulties doing so on or soon after the reference date, an extension of time may be available. Please call 1800 776 813 (free call excluding mobile phones) and advise our staff of your situation.
What is the survey reference period?
The reference period for the Survey of Employment and Earnings is the financial year ended 30 June 2022. Number of employees are collected for the last pay period ending on or before 30 June 2022. Gross wages and salaries and other payments to employees are total payments made during the financial year ended 30 June 2022. If your organisation has more than one payroll, please report for all payrolls of the organisation as outlined on the address label at the beginning of the form.
What if my organisation did not operate during the reference period?
If the organisation you are reporting for has ceased operating or did not operate during the reference period please notify the ABS on 1800 776 813 (Freecall excluding mobile phones). In order for the ABS to determine the correct course of action for this organisation, you will be asked a few questions (for example, when did the organisation last operate?).
How was my organisation selected in the survey?
A sample of approximately 2,000 government organisations is randomly selected on the Survey of Employment and Earnings. Selected organisations receive the survey questionnaire and represent other similar organisations in the same industry, employment size range, and state or territory. The sample is selected from the Australian Business Register which contains the names and addresses of all government organisations that have registered an ABN with the Australian Taxation Office.
What types of organisations are included in the survey?
The Survey of Employment and Earnings collects data from the public sector, from federal, state and local government organisations of varying employment sizes and from all industries including those engaged primarily in agriculture, forestry or fishing.
In addition, for an organisation to be included in the survey, it must employ staff that are within the scope of the survey. All wage and salary earners who received pay during the financial year ended 30 June 2022 are considered in scope of the survey, excluding:
- members of the Australian permanent defence forces;
- employees of overseas embassies, consulates, etc.;
- employees based outside of Australia;
- employees on workers' compensation who are not paid through the payroll;
- 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;
- persons paid solely by commission without a retainer; and
- employees paid solely under the Australian Government's Paid Parental Leave Scheme.
If you believe your organisation has been incorrectly included in the Survey of Employment and Earnings, please contact the ABS on 1800 776 813 (Freecall excluding mobile phones).
Question 2 - Number of employees on all payrolls who received pay during the last pay period ending on or before 30 June 2022
The number of employees is a count of all employees who received pay for any part of the last pay period ending on or before 30 June 2022. It excludes casual or seasonal employees who are on the payroll, but did not work during this pay period. Refer to question 2 on the form for a full list of employees to be included/excluded on the survey form.
Question 3 - Gross wages and salaries paid to employees
Question 3 collects the total taxable gross wages and salaries paid to employees, before taxation and any other deductions have been made, for the year ended 30 June 2022. It excludes severance, termination and redundancy payments (collected in Question 4) and salary sacrificed earnings (collected in Question 5). A full list of what is to be included/excluded is provided on the survey form in Question 3.
Question 4 - Severance, termination and redundancy payments to employees
Question 4 collects the amount of severance, termination and redundancy payments to employees for the year ended 30 June 2022. The question excludes accrued leave entitlements paid on termination (included in Question 3).
Question 5 - Salary sacrificed earnings paid on behalf of employees
Question 5 collects the amount of salary sacrificed earnings from pre-tax gross earnings, for all the employees for the year ended 30 June 2022. 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.
Who can we contact for more information or to provide feedback?
You can call us on 1800 776 813 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. If you call us outside these hours, please leave a message with your contact details and we will return your call as soon as possible.
You can also use our online Business Surveys Contact Form to outline the details of your situation and we will be in touch.