Absence from Work Survey

Detailed information for 1998





Record number:


The purpose of the survey was to provide information on Canadians' absences from work for health related reasons.

Data release - June 29, 1999


The Absence from Work Survey was conducted by Statistics Canada for the Actuarial Services Branch of Human Resources Development Canada. The data collected were used to provide information on Canadians absences from work for health related reasons. Data were designed to provide information which determinee the number of absences, the duration and the type of compensation received.


  • Labour
  • Labour mobility, turnover and work absences

Data sources and methodology


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The Absence from Work Survey is conducted as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS, Survey number 3701). The survey is based on the multistage stratified, clustered, probability, area sample of the Labour Force Survey. The sample represents all persons 15 years of age and over residing in Canada with the exception of inmates of institutions, full-time members of the Armed Forces, and residents of the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and Indian reserves. (These exceptions represent less than 3% of the population).

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 1999-03-22 to 1999-03-27

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

All interviewing is done by personal visit or by telephone. (Telephone interviewing is confined to households in their second to sixth months in sample.) Wherever possible, the interviewer attempts to obtain the information directly from the respondent but failing that, information is accepted from another household member.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

Data capture occurs in the regional offices and after the records are transmitted to Ottawa, they are subjected to comprehensive editing, imputation, and tabulation.


The Labour Force Survey (LFS) (SDDS ID 3701) records are weighted using what can be thought of as a three-stage process. The first stage involves the assignment to each record of the inverse of the design sampling ratio applicable to the geographic area where the respondent represented by that record resides. The second stage involves adjustments to the weight assigned in the first stage. These include an adjustment for the rural/urban distribution of the population and an adjustment for non-response (both performed for relatively small sub-provincial areas). It also includes an adjustment for unanticipated population growth in particular small areas selected for the sample (clusters) and an adjustment for the fact that the sample size remains constant (55,000 households) resulting in a slowly declining sampling ratio as the population grows. The third stage involves the comparison of the sum of the weights assigned to the records in the first two stages to population totals derived from sources independent of the LFS. These comparisons are done for 38 age-sex groups for each province. The weights for all records belonging to an age-sex-province group are then adjusted so that their sum is equal to the corresponding independently derived population total. The independently derived population totals are obtained as projections from the annual post-censal estimates of population produced by Demography Division with adjustments to reflect the exclusions described in 'Design and Procedures'.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

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