Aim of this survey

The Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey (MWSS) collects monthly information on wages and salaries of businesses in Great Britain. It forms the basis of the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE), which is used to measure the increase of wages over time. Your response contributes to the Index of Labour Costs Per Hour.

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need information to answer the survey questions such as:

  • employee pay frequency
  • number of paid employees
  • total gross pay
  • holiday pay, pay awards and bonuses
  • redundancies and temporary employees
  • paid overtime, new pay rates and industrial action

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: businesses in Great Britain registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
Population: approximately 121,000
Sample: approximately 9,000
Frequency: monthly

Dispatch date

25th day of each month

Return-by date

8th day of each month

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

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of UK businesses that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House.

The MWSS 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

Your information is important to us. We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select all businesses with 1,000 or more employees for the MWSS because their information is so significant.

We also select businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, usually for a set period of time, then replace them with other similar-sized businesses from their industry. These businesses are very important to us as they give stability to our statistics, allowing us to compare wage trends month-on-month and year-on-year.

How to complete this survey

Your letter explains how to complete this survey online. Please use your unique enrolment code to report your information.

Complete this survey online

If you need help

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

You can call us on 0300 1234 931. Please enter the three-digit survey ID 134.

From outside the UK: +44 (0)1633 810495.

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