The Fair Work Commission’s (Commission) Australian Workplace Relations Study (AWRS) is the first Australia-wide statistical dataset linking employee data with data from their employer since the 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey (AWIRS). Consistent with linked employee-employer research undertaken in other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, the AWRS has used surveys of employers and their employees to collect information about a range of workplace relations and employment matters. The ability to link these data greatly enhances the analysis that can be performed compared to datasets which only obtain information from employers or households.
Data from the AWRS will provide contemporary information for stakeholders, policy-makers and researchers on significant workplace relations matters affecting employers and their workers in Australia. In particular, data will inform the Commission’s:
Fieldwork for the study was carried out between February 2014 and July 2014. Over the six-month period the AWRS collected data from over 3,050 employers and over 7,800 employees.
This flow chart (PDF) depicts the AWRS data collection components and process.
The AWRS fieldwork report (PDF) provides information about the AWRS data collection process and outcomes.
The AWRS First Findings Report is now available as an online document (see also AWRS First Findings report: consolidated content from online publication PDF). The report is a snapshot of the data collected and demonstrates the breadth of topics covered in the AWRS. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive analysis of the data available. Rather, it provides an introduction to the opportunities for more in-depth analysis that the AWRS data can provide.
Technical notes have been developed to assist with interpretation of the AWRS First Findings Report.
In the coming weeks the Commission will release reports and papers featuring analysis of AWRS data to inform the Annual Wage Review 2014-15. The Commission will also publish research papers that form part of the Pay Equity Unit Work Program 2014-15 in the second half of 2015.
The Commission plans to make AWRS data available for broader use in the first half of 2015. A table of release dates is available below.
|Release of ‘Award reliance and business size: a data profile using the Australian Workplace Relations Study’ for Annual Wage Review 2014-15||February 2015|
|Release of Statistical Report for Annual Wage Review 2014-15||February 2015|
|Requests for analysis to be made to the Commission*||13 February 2015|
|AWRS Online analysis tools via Commission’s website||From February–March 2015|
|AWRS Confidentialised Unit Record File available via application||May 2015|
|AWRS Online analysis tools available via Australian Data Archive||June 2015|
|AWRS Conference and pre-conference workshop||24–26 June 2015|
If you are interested in receiving regular news about the AWRS, including the release of AWRS data, please subscribe to the AWRS update service by going to our Subscribe to updates page and following the instructions there.
The AWRS was carried out using a multi-mode approach to data collection that included computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) and self-administered online and paper-based surveys.
Data was collected using six main survey instruments:
Three of these questionnaires were designed to be administered in an online format. These were:
CATI versions of the Workforce Profile (PDF) and Financial Information (PDF) questionnaires were administered to survey respondents who indicated that they were unable to complete the questionnaires online. The CATI questionnaires collected most key measures of the online questionnaires but omitted items that were not feasible to collect over the telephone.
Employees had the option of completing a shorter version of the questionnaire in a paper-based format. The alternate delivery modes were provide to encourage participation from a broad range of employees who may have a preference for one questionnaire format over another.
The design and development of the AWRS was overseen by a steering committee made up of employee and employer representative bodies, as well as other stakeholders with expertise in quantitative survey research.
The steering committee is chaired by the President of the Commission or a delegated Member of the Commission. The following organisations are represented on the steering committee:
The Commission has also consulted the research community through peak associations about the development of the research design and survey data preparation.
For enquiries about AWRS please email firstname.lastname@example.org.