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


Access the Deposited Data

The survey data collected in the 2011 WERS has been deposited with the UK Data Service (UKDS) and can be downloaded from the UKDS website for research use. Users will first need to register with the UKDS before they are given access to the data.  


Entry for the 2011 WERS 'General Use' file in the UK Data Service Catalogue 


Information on how to register with the UK Data Service


Details of how to access the 'Secure Access' version of the data are provided in the Data Linking section of this website.

Latest release

The latest release of the 2011 WERS survey data is the Sixth Edition (dated 2nd February 2015).


The Sixth Edition adds detailed industry codes, region codes and the FPQ data to the General Use data file. These data were previously only available on the 'Secure Access' version of the data file, which is available via the UKDS Secure Access portal or the ONS Microdata Laboratory.


The Fifth Edition (dated September 2014) added a set of Stata syntax files to the deposit. These Stata syntax files were used by the WERS Research Team to create derived variables used in the primary analysis,  and to produce the tables presented in the First Findings report


Information on previous editions of the data is provided in the 'Read Me' notes on the UK Data Service website.

What has been deposited?

The 'General Use' file that has been deposited with the UK Data Service (UKDS) contains the vast majority of all data items collected as part of the 2011 WERS. Data from the Management Questionnaire, Worker Representative Questionnaire and the Survey of Employees are all contained within the one deposit.


Those data items which do not appear in the 'General Use' file can be categorised into two groups:


Permanently-withheld data items:


These contain information that would directly identify a workplace or respondent, such as the name of the workplace, the organization to which it belonged and verbatim answers. An example would be AORGNAME in the Survey of Managers. These data items have been permanently withheld in order to preserve the anonymity of respondents. The assurances made to respondents prior to their participation in the survey mean that these data items can never be made publicly available.


Restricted data items:


Some additional data items are currently only available in the 'Secure Access' version of the data. They comprise:


   • Postcodes for all workplaces (for attaching additional geographical data or grouping workplaces

      into travel-to-work areas)

   • Interdepartmental Business Register (IDBR) reference numbers for those workplaces where

      managers consented to the linking of WERS data with other data sources (MLINKDAT=Yes).


Details of how to access the 'Secure Access' version of the data are provided in the Data Linking section of this website.

Finding your way around the deposited data files

The Documentation section of this website provides links to all of the core documentation that has been deposited along with the WERS data at the UK Data Service. This includes an Introductory Note which gives guidance on some of the key features of the data including:


   • Unique identifiers for each workplace in the dataset

   • Variable naming and labelling conventions

   • The coding of missing values

   • The data structure for 'multiple response' sets

   • Weighting variables


The Resources section of this website contains further information to help users with their analysis of the survey data. This includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from data users.

Latest news (Feb 2015):


The WERS Steering Committee has agreed to add detailed industry classifications, region codes and FPQ data to the 'General Use' datafile that is provided via the UK Data Service. These data items are now available on the Sixth Edition of the General Use datafile. They were previously available to researchers only via the 'Secure Access' version of the 2011 WERS datafile.


Users should note that the IDBR workplace identifiers, which enable the WERS workplace records to be linked to other ONS business datasets, will not be added to the 'General Use' datafile. Users wishing to access these identifiers will still need to access the 'Secure Access' version of the data.