2005. Reconciliation between work and family life (lfso_05)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
1.2. Contact organisation unit Unit F-3, Labour Market statistics
1.5. Contact mail address 2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 20/06/2014
2.2. Metadata last posted 20/06/2014
2.3. Metadata last update 20/06/2014

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Results from the 2005 LFS (Labour Force Survey) ad hoc module on 'reconciliation between work and family life'.

The results of the 2005 ad-hoc module on reconciliation between work and family life allow:

  • establishing the extent to which persons participate in the labour force as they would wish, and where they are unable to do so, whether the reasons are connected with a lack of suitable care services for children and dependant persons. This contribution of the 2005 ad-hoc module could be elaborated in:
  • 1) the identification of care responsibilities (children and dependants);
  • 2) the analysis of the consequences of care responsibilities on labour force participation, taking into account the choice/constraint dimension; and
  • 3) in case of constraints, the identification of the ones linked with the lack or unsuitability of care services
  • The constraint during holiday periods is also taken into account.
  • analysing the degree of flexibility offered at work, in terms of reconciliation with family life.
3.2. Classification system

The EU-LFS results are produced in accordance with the relevant international classification systems. The main classifications used are NACE Rev.1 (NACE Rev.1.1 from 2005) and NACE Rev. 2 (from 2008) for economic activity, ISCO 88 (COM) for occupation and ISCED 1997 for the level of education. Actual coding in the EU-LFS may deviate to some extent from those general standards; for more details on classifications, levels of aggregation and transition rules, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Methodology.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Not applicable.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS) provides population estimates for the main labour market characteristics, such as employment, unemployment, inactivity, hours of work, occupation, economic activity and much else, as well as important socio-demographic characteristics, such as sex, age, education, households and regions of residence. Since 1999 an inherent part of the European Union labour force survey (LFS) are the so called 'ad-hoc modules'. The Council Regulation No 577/98 specifies that a further set of variables may be added to supplement the information obtained from the core questionnaire of the LFS. This metadata page focuses only on the 2005 ad-hoc module.

Detailed information on the relevant methodology for the ad-hoc module (including the Commission regulation and explanatory notes) as well as to national documentation (national questionnaires and interviewers instructions) can be found on EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical units consist in the individuals living in private households.

3.6. Statistical population

The target group of the 2005 ad-hoc module consisted of all persons aged between 15 and 64 (16-64 for ES, UK and NO). The universe of respondents belonging in this age group in the respective survey period (quarter or all quarters of the year) constituted the sample for the 2005 ad-hoc module in most countries, with the exception of Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Germany used a 0.1% random sample of the relevant population, France restricted the sample to the last (sixth) wave of the survey in each quarter, the Netherlands restricted the sample to the first wave, Austria restricted the sampling method to telephone interviews and the sample to persons who were participating for the first time in the LFS, Finland restricted the sample to the 5th wave, Sweden restricted the sample to persons from wave 2 and 7, and Norway limited the sample to persons aged 16-64 who were not children of some other member of the household. All these countries provided special weights for the sub-samples. More detailed description provides the final evaluation report on the module, please consult  EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

3.7. Reference area

European Union and Euro area + NO. Data for Cyprus refer only to the areas of Cyprus controlled by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. Data for France do not include the overseas departments (DOM).

3.8. Coverage - Time

Differences between countries: Second quarter 2005 or all four quarters 2005.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

Number of persons (expressed in thousands), number of employed persons (expressed in thousands), average usual working hours of employed persons.

5. Reference Period Top


Detailed information on the relevant methodology for the ad-hoc module can be found on EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

At European level: Commission Regulation (EC) No 246/2003 adopting the programme of ad hoc modules, covering years 2004 to 2006, to the labour force sample survay provided by Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2004 adopting the specifications of the 2005 ad hoc module on reconcilation between work and family life provided for by Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing
No international agreements for data sharing.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

EU-LFS micro data as received by Eurostat from the national statistical institutes does not contain any administrative information such as names or addresses that would allow direct identification. Access to this micro data is nevertheless strictly controlled and limited to specified Eurostat staff. After data treatment, records are aggregated for all further use.

For more information on publications guidelines and thresholds, please consult: EU-LFS - Data and publications.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

LFS data for ad-hoc modules are released after the end of the reference period once data processing and validation is terminated. This is not scheduled in a release calendar.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top
Not applicable.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

No news release.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

The final evaluation report summarizes the 2005 LFS (Labour Force Survey) ad hoc module on 'reconcilation between work and family life'. To access the report, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line or address to ESTAT-LFS-USER-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

EU-LFS anonymised microdata are available for research purposes. Please consult access to microdata.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

For a detailed description of methods and concepts used, as well as for other documents related to the EU-LFS, for general information please consult the  EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage. 

The EU-LFS disseminates also publications on the methodology of the survey. For more information please consult: Quality reports and methodological publications.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The concern for the quality of labour statistics in general and of the Labour Force Survey in particular has been expressed in Regulations, reflected in harmonised definitions and discussed in Working groups (such as the Labour Markey Statistics Working Group and its predecessor the Employment Statistics Working Group), workshops and seminars within the European statistical system.

Concerning the Labour Force Survey, major milestones in the improvement of its quality have been the adoption of Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 on the organisation of a continuous, quarterly sample survey in the Community; the adoption of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1897/2000 concerning the operational definition of unemployment and the 12 principles for formulating questions on labour status; the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 1991/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council making the continuous survey mandatory from 2003 onwards (except Italy from 2004 and Germany from 2005) and the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 2257/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council extending the survey characteristics and introducing the distinction between structural and quarterly variables.

Eurostat and the Member States have continuously worked also on a voluntary basis to improve the quality of the Labour Force Survey. Annual quality reports were introduced in 2002 and quarterly accuracy reports were introduced in 2004. Standards and rules for preparing ad hoc modules were adopted in 2004. At the initiative of Member States, a programme of annual LFS workshops was started in 2005.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The overall quality of LFS statistics is considered as high. LFS surveys are considered as reliable sources applying high standards with regard to the methodology. However, the LFS, like all surveys, is based upon a sample of the population. The results are therefore subject to the usual types of errors associated with random sampling. Based on the sample size and design in the various Member States, Eurostat implements basic guidelines intended to avoid publication of figures that are unreliable or to give warning of the unreliability of the figures.

A Task Force composed of several national experts, policy representatives and Eurostat analyses the outcome of each module. The results are published in the final evaluation report. Please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

A multiannual ad hoc module programme is agreed between Eurostat, the National Statistical Institutes and the main policy users (basically Commission services).

EU-LFS results are used mainly by the DG Employment and a number of other Directorates of the Commission for measurement and monitoring of policy agendas purposes. Key users include NSI's, international organizations, news agencies and researchers which use of various aspects of EU-LFS data for international or intra EU comparisons. Finally, LFS data are used by Eurostat for compiling detailed regional indicators, for estimates on current education and education levels, higher education and research, and for accurate estimates of labour input of national accounts.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Eurostat does not carry out any satisfaction survey targeted at users of labour markets statistics. The relevance of the LFS statistics for the users can thus only be assessed by indirect means. These requests are subject to scrutiny by the national experts and representatives of the NSIs. For major topics of interest, the instrument of ad hoc modules has proven to be useful and flexible. For users other than the Commission, anecdotal evidence for relevance can be found in positive feedbacks from individual users, or even in the absence of complaint. The main institutional users, however, are known to the unit for Labour Market Statistics. Many of them are frequently consulted on various aspects of development and dissemination of labour force statistics.

12.3. Completeness

Even if otherwise adhering to the EU-regulations on the EU-LFS, countries do not always provide data for all the variables. This can be for various reasons, such as assessment that the variable in question is irrelevant to the labour market situation in the country or (temporary) inability to implement the variable in the national questionnaire. Some NSIs implement the full set of questions only in the spring or to a certain survey wave.

For more details see the final evaluation report, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The overall accuracy is considered as high. The LFS covers persons aged 15 years and over, living in private households to ensure a comparable coverage for all countries. The sampling designs in the LFS are chosen on a country by country basis (sampling rates vary between 0.3% and 3.3%). Most of the National Statistical Institutes employ multi-staged stratified random sample design, especially those that do not have central population registers available. As the results are based on a sample of population they are subject to the usual types of errors associated with sampling techniques and interviews.

13.2. Sampling error

With the exception of IRL, LU, IS, and CH all counties provided information about the relative standard error (coefficient of variation) for selected variables. It has been reformulated in terms of confidence limits for the statistics in question, in order to provide better clarity to the reader. For more details see page 16 of the final evaluation report. Please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Information about non response are summarized in the final evaluation report (pages 13-15). Please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

According to Commission Regulation (EC) No 246/2003 of 10 February 2003 on a multi-annual program of ad hoc modules 2004-2006, the deadline for the transmission of results of the AHM 2005 was 31 March 2006. The release of EU-LFS data is not bound by an advance calendar of publication.

14.2. Punctuality
Of the 30 participating countries, 27 delivered the data on time while 3 countries transmitted the data files later: Greece 16 weeks later, Sweden 8 weeks later and Iceland was unable to send any data.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The common conceptual basis of the survey allows a good international comparability on reconciliation between work and family life. It can be assumed that there are no severe conceptual differences among the countries, though different implementations of similar concepts may occur. There are nevertheless areas necessary to be enquired further, because they could be a cause for differences. There are differences with respect to the reference period, the participation to the ad hoc module, the proxy response, and the non-response. With respect to answers given for different variables foreseen in the ahm2005, the main type of divergence between countries concern: a quite low incidence of certain phenomena, in particular among males, with a subsequent problem of accuracy; a high incidence of the "other" category (Col.240 and Col.247); different answering patterns, due to a different degree of flexibility in the labour market (Col.243 and Col.244).

For more details see page 17 to 24 of the final evaluation report. Please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

15.2. Comparability - over time
Not applicable
15.3. Coherence - cross domain
Other datasets on this topic are not available.
15.4. Coherence - internal

Published estimates stemming from the LFS are considered fully internally coherent, since arithmetic and accounting identities in the production of LFS datasets are observed.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Some information on the burden of the 2005 ad hoc module is given on pages 9 and 10 of the final evaluation report. Please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Ad-hoc modules.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

LFS revisions are not expected, unless major errors are identified in the data delivered or in their processing. However, exceptional revisions may happen e.g. after new estimates of population from a population census.

17.2. Data revision - practice
Not applicable.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The source of the data is the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU LFS). The EU LFS is a rotating random sample survey of persons in private households. It is organised in thirteen modules, covering their demographic background, labour status, employment characteristics of the main job, hours worked, employment characteristics of the second job, time-related underemployment, search for employment, education and training, previous work experience of persons not in employment, situation one year before the survey, main labour status, income, and technical items relating to the interview. An additional so-called ad-hoc module can be added to address specific subjects that change from year to year. For details see Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 of 9 March 1998 on the organisation of a labour force sample survey in the Community (OJ No L 77/3).

18.2. Frequency of data collection
Data collection is quaterly or annually.
18.3. Data collection

The data is acquired by interviewing the sampled individuals directly. For the sample design and rotation patterns applied in each country, please consult the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) webpage.

18.4. Data validation

Prior to the dissemination of national data, LFS results are validated by the Member States and checked for plausibility by Eurostat.

18.5. Data compilation

EU and Euro area aggregates are calculated on the basis of quarterly population totals. For the data expressed in absolute values for each quarter (i.e. number of persons) no weighting is used - aggregate figures are calculated by adding up all the national data series.

Rates/Ratios are subsequently calculated from the data expressed in absolute values (i.e. number of persons).

18.6. Adjustment

No adjustments.

19. Comment Top

 No notes.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
EU-LFS - ad hoc modules webpage (additional metadata information)