EWCS 2015 - Questionnaire development

The sixth EWCS questionnaire includes questions from previous surveys to enable analysis over time as well as new questions addressing emerging challenges and policy issues of interest.

The main topics it covers are employment conditions, job security, working time, place of work, work organisation and human resources practices, risk factors (physical and psychosocial), social relationships at work, pace of work, health and safety at work, work–life balance and household characteristics, financial security, health and well being.

New topics covered include company size, country of birth, part-time or full-time status of partner, on-call work, the heterogeneity of self-employment, occurrence of  chronic diseases, sleeping problems, recent changes in the job, organisational justice, employee representation and engagement, and fairness of pay.

The development of the questionnaire started approximately two years before fieldwork. It has built on the following foundations:

  • feedback from users and lessons from previous editions of the EWCS series;
  • extensive consultation with Eurofound’s tripartite stakeholders, other EU bodies (European Commission, Eurostat, EU-OSHA, EIGE), international experts (OECD, ILO),  and experts in working conditions surveys and other research and policy areas relevant to the survey;
  • the analysis of European policy documents as well as a specific literature review (for example, on self-employment, and engagement at the workplace);
  • cognitive testing to assess how well the questions work: did respondents’ understand the terms used? Had they had the same meaning for different groups? Were they easy to answer?
  • an assessment of the translatability to identify cultural issues and potential aspects that could be hard to translate.

Eurofound has produced a historical overview, which maps the development of the questionnaire over time. It contains all the questions that have ever been asked in all five surveys, organised by topic and chronologically. 

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