The working conditions survey is conducted as a complement to the INSEE Employment Survey. It aims to define as closely as possible the actual work as it is perceived by the worker, and not the prescribed work as it might be described by the company or the employer. The assessment of working conditions is conducted on the basis of declarations made by workers. But these are not opinion surveys as such. The questions asked are as factual as possible. Fairly often, employees must assess whether they are subject to certain constraints which are explained to them, or give a certain number of events to which they are subject, or assess the intensity of a certain constraint.
The 2005 survey concentrated on all active employees with jobs amongst one 6th of the sample from the Employment Survey.
Established in 1978 to focus on the world of industry, the survey has been expanded since 1991 to include a description of stress factors and room for manoeuvre when carrying out orders. In 1998, questions were added on the fragmentation or unpredictability of working hours as well as occupational accidents. In 2005, new questions were introduced concerning stress and the risk prevention policies employed by companies.
The working condition surveys are conducted periodically (1978, 1984, 1991, 1998, 2005) by the research, studies and statistics coordination directorate of the Ministry for Employment.