Aim of this survey

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of information on the structure and distribution of earnings in the UK. ASHE provides information about the levels, distribution and make-up of earnings and paid hours worked for employees in all industries and occupations. The ASHE tables contain estimates of earnings for employees by sex and full-time or part-time status. Further breakdowns include by region, occupation, industry, age group and public or private sector.

These breakdowns are available for the following variables:

  • gross weekly pay
  • weekly pay excluding overtime
  • basic pay including other pay
  • overtime pay
  • gross hourly pay
  • hourly pay excluding overtime
  • gross annual pay
  • annual incentive pay
  • total paid hours
  • basic paid hours
  • paid overtime hours

Information you need

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • a breakdown of the selected employees' earnings, paid hours and pension arrangements
  • personnel information, such as job title, employment start date and annual leave entitlement

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: ASHE is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records.

Population: employee jobs registered with HMRC’s PAYE

Sample: approximately 300,000

Frequency: annually

Dispatch dates: the third week of April

Return-by date: the fourth week of May; a specific date will be on the survey

Dispatch and return-by dates are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends.

Why you have received this survey

The sample for ASHE includes specific employees who are members of PAYE Income Tax schemes and it is essential for that sample to remain as stable as possible. Consequently, once a National Insurance number is selected, a questionnaire will be issued in respect of that employee, irrespective of the employer.

The ASHE is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection or the method of survey completion.

How to complete this survey

Please complete and submit your data following the guidelines provided on your questionnaire(s).

Some businesses can now complete the survey online based on the number of employees that are selected. If you are selected, you will receive an enrolment letter with instructions on how to access the questionnaire.

If you are selected to complete the survey via a Secure Electronic File Transfer (SEFT) spreadsheet, then you must use the template for your ASHE return. If you return the data in a different format, it will be returned to you to amend and resubmit.

The template is available in the “Related download” section on the right-hand side of this page. Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

If you are still selected to complete a paper version of the survey, PDFs that can be edited are available for this questionnaire. To request a PDF, please email surveycomments@ons.gov.uk providing your company name, PAYE reference number and the survey ID code 141. These can be found on any communication you have received from us.

If you need help

If your question is not answered above, you may be able to find the answer in the About ONS business surveys section.

You can call us on 0300 1234 938. Please enter the three-digit survey ID 141.

When contacting the office, you may be asked for the following information:

Survey code: 141
Reference number: EG 123 456A 78

If you would like to use our Minicom service for the Deaf, the number is +44 1633 815044.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (to speak to someone in Welsh): 0300 1234 921.