ECS 2013 – Methodology

In an effort to provide comparable and reliable data on working conditions across Europe, Eurofound has developed a unified methodological approach and quality assurance system. Over the years, the methodology has been improved, new concerns have been integrated and the geographical scope has expanded with the enlargements of the European Union.

Fieldwork period: February to June 2013.

Contractor: Gallup Europe (Belgium).

Type of survey: Questionnaire-based telephone interviews of management and employee representatives conducted in the national language(s) of the countries surveyed. Average duration of the interviews was 27 minutes for management and 19 minutes employee representatives.

Coverage: 28 EU Member States plus Iceland, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey.

Target population: Senior managers in charge of personnel and, where present, official employee representatives in establishments with 10 or more employees in all sectors except those in the NACE Rev. 2 categories A (agriculture, forestry and fishing), T (Activities of the household) and U (Activities of extraterritorial organisation and bodies).

Sampling: Procedures differed between countries, depending on the optimal quality sampling frame that was available. Sampling was always stratified by establishment/company size and broad sector of activity (industry vs. services). In countries with an establishment level sampling frame stratified random probability sampling was applied. In countries with a company level sampling frame stratified random probability sampling was applied and subsequently a screening procedure was used to randomly select establishments. Sampling procedures differed for NACE categories O, P and Q due to the unavailability of reliable sampling frames for these sectors of activity.

Sample size: The target sample size for the management interviews ranged from 300 in the smallest countries to 1650 in the largest countries. The total number of interviews achieved for the ECS in 2013 was 30,113 management interviews and 9,094 employee representative interviews.

Weighting: To allow for appropriate generalisations based on the survey results, the following weights have been constructed for the 3rd ECS.

Coding: The answers to the open questions to record the establishment’s economic activity were coded according to the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE) Revisions 1.1 and 2.0.

Quality assurance and control: Strict quality assurance and control measures were applied. A quality assurance framework was established in advance which covered the survey design and implementation. Following completion of the survey, quality control and external quality assessment were each documented in a report.

Further information is available in the technical report.