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6342.0 - Working Arrangements, Australia, Nov 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/06/2004   
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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents information about the working arrangements of employees, such as shift work, overtime, rostered days off and start and finish times.


Statistics in this publication were obtained from the Working Arrangements Survey conducted throughout Australia in November 2003 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS).


Data from the survey relate to employed persons aged 15 years and over who worked in their main job for an employer (and either received remuneration in wages or salary, received a retainer fee from their employer while working on a commission basis, or were paid in tips or piece-rates) or operated their own incorporated enterprise with or without employees. Persons aged 15-19 years who were attending school were excluded from the survey.


The survey collected details about the working arrangements of employees, formal and informal child care, absences from work and trade union membership. This information is cross-classified by a range of employment characteristics such as whether full-time or part-time employee in main job, leave entitlements, occupation and industry, as well as personal characteristics such as sex, age and whether has children under 12 years of age.



COMPARABILITY WITH PREVIOUS YEARS' DATA

Since the release of estimates from the 2000 survey, it has been identified that 'with leave entitlements' was calculated incorrectly. See paragraph 23 of the Explanatory Notes for more details.



ROUNDING

As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Labour Force and Supplementary Surveys section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

Of the 7,941,600 employees aged 15 years and over in November 2003:

  • 34% did not have fixed work start and finish times
  • 70% could choose when holidays are taken
  • 41% were able to work extra hours in order to take time off, up from 38% in November 2000.

Other findings include:
  • 37% regularly worked overtime, up from 33% in November 2000
  • 20% were entitled to a Rostered Day Off (RDO)
  • 14% did shift work in the last 4 weeks.


DAYS OF THE WEEK USUALLY WORKS IN MAIN JOB

The proportion of employees who worked Monday to Friday only was 58% (64% for males and 52% for females). Female employees were more likely than males to work some weekdays only (19% compared to 5%). Male employees were more likely to work weekdays and weekends than females (17% compared to 12%).



WHETHER ABLE TO WORK EXTRA HOURS IN ORDER TO TAKE TIME OFF

The proportion of employees able to work extra hours in order to take time off increased from 38% in November 2000 to 41% in November 2003. Occupation groups with the lowest proportion of employees who can work extra hours to get time off were Labourers and related workers (27%), Elementary clerical, sales and service workers (30%) and Intermediate production and transport workers (32%).



ROSTERED DAYS OFF

In November 2003, there were 1,623,300 (20%) employees who were entitled to an RDO. Of these, 845,000 (52%) employees were entitled to an RDO every month, 322,300 (20%) were entitled to an RDO every fortnight, and 177,100 (11%) were entitled to an RDO every week.



OVERTIME

The proportion of employees who work overtime on a regular basis in their main job increased from 33% in November 2000 to 37% (2,958,300 employees) in November 2003. A higher proportion of full-time employees (46%) worked overtime on a regular basis compared to part-time employees (13%), with male employees more likely to work overtime than female employees (44% compared to 29%). Occupation groups that had the highest proportions of employees working overtime were Managers and administrators (63%) and Professionals (51%), while those with the lowest were Labourers and related workers (22%) and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers (17%).


For the most recent period of overtime for employees who worked overtime on a regular basis:

  • 1,132,700 (38%) employees were paid for the overtime
  • 628,500 (21%) employees had overtime included in their salary package
  • 985,900 (33%) employees were not paid for the overtime
  • The occupation groups with the highest proportion of employees paid for overtime were Labourers and related workers (84%) and Intermediate production and transport workers (83%)
  • The occupation groups with the highest proportions of employees not paid for the most recent period of overtime were Professionals (53%) and Advanced clerical and service workers (47%).


SHIFT WORK

In November 2003, 1,121,600 employees (14%) had worked shift work in the last four weeks. Of these, (46%) worked a 'rotating' shift. Male employees were more likely to have worked shift work than female employees, in both full-time work (15% compared to 12%) and part-time work (17% compared to 14%).


Industries with the highest proportions of shift workers were Mining (44%), Health and community services (32%) and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (31%). The occupation group with the highest proportion of shift workers was Intermediate production and transport workers (24%).



ABSENCES

One in five employees had an absence of three hours or more in the two weeks before the survey. Of those employees who had an absence in the two weeks before the survey, 1,198,200 (75%) were paid for their most recent absence. The most common reasons for absences were 'Holiday/travel or other recreational purpose' (38%) and 'Own ill health, physical disability' (32%). Of those who had an absence in the two weeks before the survey, 36% used holiday leave and 34% used sick leave to cover their most recent absence.


Of employees who had an absence in the two weeks before the survey:

  • 132,500 employees (8%) had a part day absence
  • 712,400 employees (44%) had an absence of one full day
  • 250,900 employees (16%) had an absence of two full days
  • 505,200 employees (32%) had an absence of three days or more.


EMPLOYEES WITH CHILDREN

Of the 7,941,600 employees at November 2003, 1,956,000 (25%) had children under the age of 12 years. Of those employees with children aged under 12 years, 647,600 (33%) used formal child care in the last two weeks.


Other findings on employees with children aged under 12 years include:

  • 44% were able to work extra hours to take time off, compared to 40% of employees without children aged under 12 years
  • 39% regularly worked overtime, compared to 37% of employees without children aged under 12 years
  • 55% worked Monday to Friday only, compared to 60% of employees without children aged under 12 years
  • 16% worked some weekdays only compared to 9% of employees without children aged under 12 years
  • 65% of females worked part-time, compared to 37% of females without children aged under 12 years
  • 7% of males worked part-time, compared to 15% of males without children aged under 12 years.

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