Work quality

Work quality statistics released to date contain a number of indicators primarily sourced from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), alongside an earnings indicator sourced from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we anticipate that there will be some changes in terms of our regular statistical production. See the COVID-19 and the production of statistics page for more information. From April all LFS interviews were conducted by telephone.

Latest results

The latest work quality statistics were released on 9th February 2021, which contained analysis by gender, age and skills level for eight work quality indicators for employees aged 18 and over between July 2019 and June 2020. 

A summary of the estimated proportion of employees who meet one to seven aspects of work quality is also included (measured from the LFS) in the bulletin.

The definitions for the eight work quality indicators can be found in table 1 of the latest publication. 

Key points

  • Secure employment was the most positive indicator, where 96% of employees were in a permanent job or in a temporary job but did not want a permanent job.
  • The three work quality indicators with the lowest proportions of employees in jobs meeting the criteria (at approximately 50%) were employee involvement in decision-making, flexible work and opportunities for career progression.
  • Flexible working showed the largest difference between males and females (20 percentage points), where almost 3 in 5 female employees worked in flexible jobs, compared to almost 2 in 5 males.
  • The majority of the indicators reported little variance between employees aged 18-39 years and 40+ years, with the exception of the proportion of employees agreeing their job offered good opportunities for career progression and the proportion with earnings above the Real Living Wage.
  • Employees in high skilled jobs reported a higher percentage than low skilled jobs in seven of the eight indicators. Flexibility was the only indicator where those in high skilled jobs showed lower proportions than low skilled jobs.
  • Around one in ten employees (12%) met all seven aspects of work quality measured from the LFS (all indicators except earnings)

Latest publication

Work Quality in Northern Ireland (additional analysis) – July 2019 to June 2020

Previous publications and tables

Work plan

Work quality work plan 2021-2022

Background information

User requested data

Labour market statistics are published regularly throughout the year. We also produce bespoke tables if users request data that are not already available.

A list of published bespoke tables is available from the User requested data page

Information on user events and consultations is available on the Labour Market Statistics User Engagement page.

ELMS publication schedule

Upcoming publication dates from the Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch, including all Work Quality publications can be found via the publication schedule page

Selected for the Labour Force Survey

If you have been selected to take part in the Labour Force Survey please provide us with a telephone number so that we can reach you.

Due to current government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) we are unable to send an interviewer in person to your address to carry out this study. We can carry out the study over the telephone instead.

Please access the link below which contains more information and the secure link to enter your contact details and we will telephone you.

Provide contact details to participate

Mailing list

If you would like to be added to a mailing list and receive the latest publications on the day they publish please email: economicstats@nisra.gov.uk with the title of the publications you would like to receive.


Most recent documents


Contacts for Work quality

Work Quality

Jennifer McLoughlin
Telephone: 028 905 29228
Email: lfs@finance-ni.gov.uk
Twitter: @NISRA