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Definition

1. Work refers to a person’s main employment on a specified day, where

(a) Employment is defined as: all people in the working–age population who during the reference period:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, or payment in kind in a job, business, farm or professional practice or,
  • worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed to the operation of a farm, business or professional practice operated by a relative or,
  • had a job or business they were temporarily absent from.

(b) Main refers to the greatest hours employed on the specified day.

(c) Day refers to midnight to midnight.

2. Main means is the method by which the respondent travelled the longest distance to their main employment.

Explanatory notes

People working at home

A growing number of people work from home either permanently or on a casual basis. If a respondent’s place of work is in the same building as the one in which they live they should be regarded as working at home. Similarly, farmers working on a farm on the collection date should also be regarded as working at home, if the place where they live is located on the farm.

Reference date

A number of users have queried the use of a single day as the reference period. Their main concern is that the date selected would be an abnormal day, ie would be affected by the weather or a transport strike.

If respondents were asked for their usual means of travel there is a danger of over-counting in some response categories. The likelihood of over–counting in some response categories, as opposed to the unlikely possibility that the reference day will be an abnormal day, means that questions asking for the main means of travel to work should always nominate a particular date.

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