Unpaid care provided by person

Status: This standard was approved as a departmental standard on October 23, 2009.

Definition

Unpaid care provided refers to activity in which a person provided unpaid service to assist or care for children, seniors or other adults both within and outside his or her household as well as associated travel. It excludes volunteer services provided through a non-profit or religious organization, charity or community group. It refers to such activity performed during a specified reference period.

Unpaid service refers to the contribution of labour to activity that is outside the production boundary defined for the System of National Accounts. It includes productive activities, such as unpaid housework, unpaid care and volunteer services. It refers to such activity performed during a specified reference period.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programmes.

Usage

Unpaid care provided includes work such as food preparation for young children that is also considered to be part of unpaid housework. Please see the standard for Unpaid housework by person.

The activity included can be limited to primary activity only. In some applications, such as time use diaries, activities performed in a particular unit of time can be classified as primary or simultaneous. In each unit of time, one activity is identified as "primary" and any other activities performed at the same time are identified as "simultaneous". In such applications, the time spent in providing unpaid care can either refer to all units in which unpaid care was provided or only to those when it was the primary activity performed. If only the primary activity is included, this should be specified.

Information on unpaid care provided is typically collected for persons 15 years or over. The population included in the study should be specified.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

In its Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 2, 2008, the United Nations (UN) follows the recommendations of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) concerning statistics about labour market activity. Activities within the production boundary defined by the System of National Accounts (SNA) are considered economic activities. Activities in this standard are considered to be non-economic activities. The UN does not provide any detailed standards for data collection on such activities. However, the UN does state that unpaid services are a significant area of human activity and that information on unpaid services is important in measuring the characteristics of groups with special needs such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities. The UN suggests that areas covered by unpaid service may include unpaid domestic activities, unpaid care, unpaid care of children and unpaid voluntary work. The UN makes the following recommendations in terms of the categorization of unpaid services:

Countries may wish to identify separately the persons who provide social and personal services to their own household, other households or to voluntary, non-profit organizations on an unpaid basis, either for a short reference period or for a longer one. Such persons may be subdivided either according to types of services provided or according to type of recipient. (United Nations. 2008. Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses. Revision 2. New York. p. 166.)

The standard for Unpaid care provided is compatible with the recommendations for the concept of Unpaid service. Unpaid care provided can be classified by the recipient of unpaid service (own household and other households) and by the amount of hours of Unpaid service. Unpaid care provided includes unpaid care of children and unpaid care of seniors. For the purposes of collecting statistical information, the UN defines the elderly as those 60 years and over and children as persons less than 15 years of age. (United Nations. 2008. Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses. Revision 2. New York. p. 244-245.)

Measurements

  • 'Number of hours of activity' is expressed in hours ranging from 0 to the maximum number on the data file. Hours may be expressed to 2 significant digits after the decimal. October 23, 2009 to current

Classifications

Relation to previous version

  • Unpaid care provided by person October 23, 2009 to current

    This is the current standard.

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