Aim of this survey

The Quarterly Public Sector Employment Surveys (QPSES) comprise three surveys addressed to local government, the Civil Service and public bodies (mainly non-departmental public bodies and public corporations). The surveys collect information on the number of permanent and temporary employees in full- and part-time employment by the employees' sex. Information is collected on both a headcount and full-time equivalent basis. The data are used to measure the number of people employed in the UK public sector and are included as part of the public sector employment release and wider labour market statistics.

What you need to know

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

  • number of male and female permanent employees working full-time, part-time and full-time equivalents

  • number of male and female temporary or casual employees working full-time, part-time and full-time equivalents

  • total number of employees

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: UK trading businesses registered for Value Added tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) classified by Office for National Statistics (ONS) to the public sector.

Population: all local government across England and Wales

Sample: local authorities approximately 440

Frequency: quarterly

Dispatch dates

Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar): 27 February to 14 March

Quarter 2 (Apr to June): 30 May to 13 June

Quarter 3 (July to Sept): 29 August to 12 September

Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec): 4 to 12 December

Return-by dates

Quarter 1: 25 March to 9 April

Quarter 2: 24 June to 9 July

Quarter 3: 23 September to 8 October

Quarter 4: 31 December to 12 January

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

Why you were selected

Your organisation has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House and classified by ONS to the public sector. Your response ensures that we represent your industry.

The Quarterly Public Sector 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-sized 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

Your letter explains how to submit your data using our online collection system. Please use your unique enrolment code to report your information.

Complete this survey online

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 931. Please enter the three-digit survey ID 160.

From outside the UK: +441633 810495.

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