The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is currently carrying out a lot of important work across England and Wales.
Census 2021 is the once-a-decade survey of everyone in England and Wales. Taking part is mandatory and most people responded online, with support available for those that needed it, including paper forms. While the main census operation and Census Coverage Survey (CCS) are now over, you may be contacted about the Census Quality Survey (CQS). This is a separate voluntary telephone survey asking questions from the census to make sure our results are as accurate as possible. If your household has been selected for CQS you will receive a letter asking you to provide your telephone number so our interviewers can contact you. We will not visit your home for CQS. Separately, we are contacting households that have not completed the census as part of our non-compliance process. When visiting these households, our non-compliance staff will carry ID and work in pairs, and may need to enter your home as part of their work. Fines for non-compliance can only be imposed following court proceedings, our staff will never ask for money to pay a fine. We are also contacting accommodation offices for student halls and boarding schools in May and June to help finalise our count of students and pupils.
The Coronavirus Infection Survey (CIS) is operated by ONS jointly with the Department for Health and Social Care and is the largest regular survey of infections and antibodies in the community population. It is a voluntary survey, with people taking part by completing a questionnaire and a self-administered swab test. Swab tests are delivered through a non-contact visit. Some participants are also invited to give a blood sample, for which a nurse or study health worker will need to enter a household in order to take blood.
Our ongoing range of studies about people, families and households. These include: Family Resources Survey (FRS), Household Assets Survey (HAS), Labour Force Survey (LFS), Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF), National Survey for Wales (NSW), Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), Survey on Living Conditions (SLC) and several online studies. Every address selected for these studies is sent a letter with details of how to take part. We are currently carrying out our studies by telephone, and some online, instead of face-to-face. However, to do this, we do visit some addresses to collect the contact details we need to carry out our studies safely.
Our ongoing range of business surveys covering various aspects of the UK economy. These include: Monthly and Annual Business Surveys (MBS and ABS), Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) and Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Businesses selected are contacted via letter or email, with surveys completed online, by phone, or by post. ONS staff do not attend businesses in person.
No-one working on Census 2021 or our other studies and surveys will ever ask you for your bank details or ask for money for taking part. Our staff will carry identification, will follow social-distancing guidelines, and will not enter your house – with the exception of staff taking a blood sample for the CIS, which will have been organised in advance, or as part of the Census 2021 non-compliance process.
The ONS can help you to identify whether a caller or a letter, text or email you've received about a survey or study is genuine. Please contact them using the contact details provided on census.gov.uk/contact-us, on the 'Information for businesses' page for business surveys, and in the 'Want to get in touch' section of the ONS website page for other studies.
By taking part in Census 2021 and our other studies and surveys, you help us build a clear picture of life and the economy in the UK.