Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Absence from work of employed person, category

Absence from work and work interruption are used almost interchangeably to denote a period of not-working time preceded and followed by periods of paid employment (or working in one's own business). The key issue to be considered during the not-working time is whether one still has some attachment, claim or expectation of returning to a job or business. If the answer is "yes", then one is absent from a job and the situation is termed absence from work; if "no", then one has lost or left a job for some reason. In the latter case, if one subsequently resumes working, even if it is with the same employer, then the period of not working is a work interruption. An absence from work may be paid or unpaid, but a work interruption is always unpaid (pay being wages or salary from an employer).

Employed person refers to those who, during the reference period, had a labour force status of 'employed'. That is, those who, during the reference period:

(a) Did any work at all at a job or business, that is, paid work in the context of an employer-employee relationship, or self-employment. This also includes persons who did unpaid family work, which is defined as unpaid work contributing directly to the operation of a farm, business or professional practice owned and operated by a related member of the same household; or

(b) Had a job but were not at work due to factors such as their own illness or disability, personal or family responsibilities, vacation or a labour dispute. This category excludes persons not at work because they were on layoff or between casual jobs, and those who did not then have a job (even if they had a job to start at a future date).

The data for this variable are reported using the following classifications and/or lists:

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