Aim of this survey

The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) publishes employee and employment estimates at detailed geographical and industrial levels and is regarded as the official source of employee and employment estimates by detailed geography and industry.

The BRES has two purposes, collecting data to update local unit information and business structures on the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) and producing annual employment statistics which are published via both the Nomis website and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website. BRES employment statistics are widely used, particularly by local government planning departments who use it to forecast trends in employment in their specific areas.

It is important that the information held on the IDBR is correct as it is a comprehensive list of UK businesses, which ONS and other government departments use as a sampling frame for business surveys.

It is also an important data source for analyses of business activity.

What you need to know

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

  • a breakdown of the number of employees, both full-time and part-time, at all your operating sites on 15 September

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: Great Britain trading businesses registered for VAT and/or PAYE. Northern Ireland data is received direct from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) which we use to create UK estimates.

Population: approximately 2,468,000

Sample: approximately 85,000

Frequency: annually

Dispatch dates

  • between 6 and 7 September

Return-by date

  • 5 October

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

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK which are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House. Your response ensures we represent your industry.

The Business Register and Employment Survey 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.

Why you have received this survey

We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select large businesses (those with 100 plus employees) for any relevant ONS business surveys because their information is so significant.

We select some small and medium businesses, usually for a set period of time then replace them with other businesses from their industry. They are very important to us as their trading patterns are often very different to large businesses.

How to complete this survey

Please complete and return the questionnaire following the guidelines on the front page.

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

At the moment, this survey is not available to complete online. We are currently developing a secure online collection platform. You will receive a letter notifying you when you can complete the Business Register and Employment Survey on our new platform. We appreciate your patience.

How to find out more information

You can call us on 0300 1234 944. Please contact us on 0300 1234 921 if you would like to speak to someone in Welsh.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg – 0300 1234 921