Australian Work and Life Index

Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI)

The Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI) is a national survey of work–life outcomes of working Australians undertaken by the Centre for Work + Life . AWALI was launched in 2007 and repeated annually until 2010 in partnership with SafeWork SA and the Western Australian Department of Health.

From 2012 AWALI was conducted biennially in 2012 and 2014 as part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant 'A study of flexibilities that enable workforce participation and skill development and use, and their implications for work-life outcomes in Australia'. Partners are SafeWork SA and the Department of Employment .

Project Manager: Dr Natalie Skinner:  ph: 08 8302 4250

AWALI 2014

AWALI 2014

AWALI 2014 National Report: The Persistent Challenge: Living, Working and Caring in Australia in 2014

This year's survey focuses on a number of key themes:

The Right to Request flexible work arrangements - what has changed since the Fair Work Act 2009 created the right to request flexibility for some workers;

Unsocial hours - who works on weekends and evenings/nights, and how these unsocial working times affect work-life outcomes;

Caring responsibilities - the impact of combining paid work with caring for a child, an elder or someone with a chronic illness or disability.


AWALI 2014 Report


Work-Life balance in South Australia AWALI 2014 Report:

This report describes key findings from the AWALI 2014 survey conducted in South Australia.






Penalty rates report cover


Evenings, nights and weekends: Working unsocial hours and penalty rates

This report further analyses findings from the AWALI 2014 survey which found working unsocial hours can have a negative effect on work-life balance.

Those who work regularly on weekends, especially on Sundays, reported that work interfered with life much more than workers who have weekends off.

Many Australians who regularly work unsocial hours would choose to stop working those hours if they no longer received penalty rates.



Previous reports

A national report detailing key findings is released following the AWALI survey, with a particular focus each year:

  • 2007 - working time;
  • 2008 - workplace culture;
  • 2009 - requests for flexibility and their outcomes, and how work-life pressures affect participation in education and training;
  • 2010 - future employment participation, generational differences and holiday leave;
  • 2012 - work, home and care.

AWALI 2012 reports

AWALI 2012 National Report The Big Squeeze: Work, home and care in 2012

Full Report Executive Summary Appendix

Work-Life balance in South Australia AWALI 2012 Report

Full Report Appendix

2010 AWALI Report: How much should we work? Working hours, holidays, and working life: the participation challenge. Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner & Sandra Pisaniello

Executive Summary

Full Report

2010 AWALI SafeWork SA report: Juggling work-life balance in South Australia Executive Summary Full Report Appendix

2009 AWALI Report: 'Work, life and workplace flexibility: the Australian work and life index 2009'. Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner and Reina Ichii. Full report Executive Summary

2008 AWALI Report: 'Work, life and workplace culture: the Australian work and life index 2008'.Natalie Skinner and Barbara Pocock. Full report

2007 'AWALI Report: Work, Life and Time: The Australian Work and Life Index 2007'. Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner and Philippa Williams. Full Report

AWALI 2010 Report AWALI 2009 Report AWALI report 2008 AWALI 2007 report

For more information on the concepts and methodology underpinning AWALI see The Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI): Concepts, Methodology and Rationale.

AWALI survey tool

AWALI serves as a benchmarking tool to compare and contrast work-life outcomes across various groups defined by geographic location, employment characteristics (e.g. occupation, work hours, industry, job quality) and social demographics (e.g. gender, age, parenthood, income).

It also serves as a powerful analysis tool to examine the protective and risk factors related to work-life conflict, and the social, community and health outcomes affected by the state of the work-life relationship. AWALI data is collected using computer-assisted telephone interviews.

AWALI makes a new and useful contribution to existing knowledge and policy in four ways:

  1. It includes a random sample drawn from all working Australians, permitting analysis of work and family issues but extending more broadly to work–life issues as they affect all Australian workers across the life cycle.

  2. It is annual in nature, allowing for the analysis of change over time, based on a cross-section of surveyed working Australians.

  3. It includes work-to-community interactions.

  4. It analyses a wide range of life issues (including care responsibilities, relationships and health outcomes) with a wide range of work effects (including hours of work, job quality, forms of employment, industry, occupation and unionisation). This analysis is set in the context of geographic, personal and household factors (including gender, age, education, location and commuting time).

    At the core of AWALI is the five-item work–life index which assesses the work–life relationship on five key dimensions:

    1. 'General interference' (i.e. the frequency with which work interferes with responsibilities or activities outside work and vice versa)
    2. 'Time strain' (i.e. the frequency with which work keeps workers from spending the amount of time they would like with family or friends and vice versa)
    3. Work-to-community interaction, measuring the frequency with which work affects workers' ability to develop or maintain connections and friendships in their community
    4. Satisfaction with overall work–life 'balance'
    5. Frequency of feeling rushed or pressed for time.


Areas of study and research

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