Appendix I: Definitions of Employment Quality Indicators

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Safety and ethics of employment

Work injuries: The proportion of people who reported they received an injury at their place of work during the past 12 months. Occupational injury was defined as a "yes" response to the question "(Not counting repetitive strain injuries), were you injured in the past 12 months?" together with the response "working at a job or business" to the question, "Thinking about the most serious injury, what type of activity were you doing when you were injured?" Injuries sustained while commuting were not considered to be work injuries in this analysis. (Source: CCHS)

Income and benefits from employment

Average hourly wages: Average hourly wages of employees, in current dollars. Those whose main job is self-employed are excluded.

Wage distribution: The proportion of employees earning an hourly wage within a certain wage range.

Employees with non-wage benefits (%): Proportion of employees who have access to a dental plan, life insurance, supplemental medical coverage or pension plan through their employer. (Source: WES)

Working hours and balancing work and non-working life

Multiple-job holder (%): Proportion of employed workers who have more than one job; also referred to as "moonlighting".

Average usual hours per week: Average hours usually worked each week in the main job of employed workers. For those with multiple jobs, average hours are calculated for all jobs.

Worked unpaid overtime (%): Proportion of employees who worked at least some extra hours without pay during the survey reference week. Those who are self-employed in their main job are excluded.

Worked 50+ hour workweek (%): Proportion of employed workers who worked at least 50 hours during the reference week.

Part-time position (%): Proportion of employed workers who usually work less than 30 hours per week at their main job.

Involuntary part time: Among those employed workers working part-time in their main job, the share who were working part time involuntarily (i.e, because of business conditions but didn't look for full-time work because of business conditions but were looking for full-time work; or they could not find full-time work).

Reduced work week (%): Proportion of employed workers who have an agreement with the employer to work fewer hours every week. (Source: WES)

Compressed work week (%): Proportion of employed workers who work longer hours each day to reduce the number of days in the workweek. (Source: WES)

Flexible hours (%): Proportion of employed workers who work a certain number of core hours, but can vary the start and stop times as long as they work the equivalent of a full work week. (Source: WES)

Stability and security of work, and social protection

Temporary position (%): Proportion of employed workers whose current position is considered to be temporary, whether it be a short-term contract or seasonal in nature.

Current job tenure: the length of time (in months) in which the employee has worked for the specific employer (regardless of whether they held various positions for this employer over this time span).

Social dialogue and workplace relationships

Union coverage (%): Proportion of employees who are members of a union or are covered by collective bargaining agreements in their main job. Those who are self-employed in their main job are excluded.

Skills development and life-long learning

Received classroom training (%): Proportion of employees who received any amount of classroom training in the previous 12 months. This training includes all training activities which have a predetermined format, including a pre-defined objective or specific content. The progress of the training may be monitored and/or evaluated. (Source: WES)

Received on-the-job training (%): Proportion of employees who received any amount of informal training related to their job in the previous 12 months. (Source: WES)

Over-qualification (%): The number of non-management workers whose level of education is higher than what is normally required for their current occupation as a share of all non-management workers (e.g., those with university degrees who are working in occupations which usually only require at most a college education or apprenticeship, divided by all non-management workers with university degrees). This concept is sometimes referred to as "underemployment", "underutilization" or "education-to-job mismatch". The education-occupation matching process is based on a usual education-occupation matrix found on the Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) website. 1 

Intrinsic nature of work

Job satisfaction (%): Proportion of employees answering the following question: Considering all aspects of this job, how satisfied are you with the job? Would you say that you are: satisfied; very satisfied; dissatisfied; very dissatisfied? (Source: WES)


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