The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study

We ask researchers to contact us whenever they publish research using the WERS data. We will add your publication to our bibliography. This helps to avoid any duplication among researchers. The bibliography also demonstrates the value of the survey to funders.

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Information and Advice


The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study (also known as WERS6) is the sixth in a series of national surveys of employment relations at the workplace level. Earlier surveys were conducted in 1980, 1984, 1990, 1998 and 2004.


The aim of each survey in the WERS series has been to provide large-scale, statistically reliable evidence about a broad range of employment relations and practices across the economy in Great Britain. The 2011 WERS collected data from a representative sample of 2,680 British workplaces. Within these workplaces, data were collected from:


    • 2,680 workplace managers responsible for employment relations and personnel

    • 1,002 worker representatives

    • 21,981 employees.


The headline findings from the 2011 WERS have been published in a 40-page booklet of First Findings, which may be downloaded free-of-charge from the BIS website.


First Findings from the 2011 WERS (BIS website)


A more extensive discussion of the survey findings is provided in a full-length book, Employment Relations in the Shadow of Recession (published by Palgrave Macmillan). The book examines the state of British employment relations in 2011, how this had changed since 2004, and the role the recession played in shaping employees’ experience of work.


Employment Relations in the Shadow of Recession (Palgrave Macmillan website)


The survey data collected in the 2011 WERS is publicly available for research use:


2011 WERS entry in the UK Data Service Catalogue (UKDS website)


The WERS Research Team's syntax for deriving variables used in their primary analysis is also publicly available to secondary analysts:


2011 WERS Research Team syntax files (information page on this website)


Latest news (April 2018): 


    • Updated bibliography of WERS-based research (3rd April 2018) adds 15 new publications.