Research and analysis

The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS)

Sixth employment relations survey of a representative sample of 2,680 British workplaces between March 2011 and June 2012.

Documents

The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study: first findings

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Management questionnaire (MQ): sixth workplace employment relations study 2011 (WERS6)

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Financial performance questionnaire (FPQ): sixth workplace employment relations study 2011 (WERS6)

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Worker representative questionnaire (WRQ): sixth workplace employment relations study 2011 (WERS6)

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Survey of employees (SEQ): sixth workplace employment relations study 2011 (WERS6)

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Employee profile questionnaire (EPQ): sixth workplace employment relations study 2011 (WERS6)

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Report on the consultation for the 6th workplace employment relations survey (WERS6)

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Detail

The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS) is the sixth survey of employment relations in Britain. It contains data from a representative sample of 2,680 British workplaces collected from:

  • 2,680 workplace managers responsible for employment relations and personnel
  • 1,002 worker representatives
  • 21,981 employees

Reporting

The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study: first findings report was published on 23 January 2013.

An updated version of the report with revised data was completed in May 2013.

The book of the 2011 WERS Employment relations in the shadow of recession is available to buy for £24.99.

Accompanying the book and first findings are the underlying tables and further breakdown of key data items across workplace size, industry, sector and union recognition. The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS) transparency data includes:

  • 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study standard comparison tables
  • parts 1,2 and 3 of the underlying data to the first findings

Key outputs and dates

Key milestone Timing
Main fieldwork mid - 2012
Publication of ‘The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations: first findings report’ 23 January 2013
2011 WERS data made available to the public through the UK Data Archive February 2013
Publication of the book ‘Employment relations in the shadow of recession: findings from the 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study’ (ISBN 978-1-137-27576-9, Palgrave Macmillan) 25 November 2013

Design of the 2011 WERS

At each workplace, an interview was conducted with the most senior manager responsible for employment relations and personnel issues. A self-completion questionnaire was distributed before the interview to collect information on the basic characteristics of the workforce, and a second questionnaire was given to all trading sector workplaces at the end of the interview to collect data on financial performance.

At workplaces with worker representatives, the manager was asked for consent to interview one trade union employee representative and one non-trade union representative.

Also with the manager’s consent, self-completion questionnaires were distributed to a randomly selected representative sample of up to 25 employees.

The 2011 WERS covers key aspects of employment relations, including:

  • establishment and organisational characteristics
  • management of employment relations
  • recruitment and training
  • information, consultation and communication
  • employee representation
  • payment systems and pay determination
  • collective disputes and procedures
  • redundancies, grievance and discipline
  • equal opportunities
  • work-life balance and well-being
  • health and safety
  • flexibility and performance
  • business strategy and workplace change
  • employee engagement and job satisfaction

2011 WERS instruments

There are 5 instruments in total, all of which are available to download:

  • Employee profile questionnaire (EPQ) – self-completion questionnaire given to the manager respondent prior to the interview
  • Management questionnaire (MQ) – face-to-face interview with the most senior manager responsible for staff and employment relations at the workplace
  • Financial performance questionnaire (FPQ) – self-completion questionnaire distributed after the management interview
  • Worker representative questionnaire (WRQ) – face-to-face or telephone interview with the most senior representative of the largest recognised (or if none present, non-recognised) trade-union and most senior non-union representative at the workplace
  • Survey of employees questionnaire (SEQ) – self-completion questionnaire distributed to up to 25 employees in the workplace

Report on the 2011 WERS consultation exercise

At the preliminary stages of the 2011 WERS, the sponsors conducted a consultation on the content of the next survey. The consultation report was published in August 2010 and is available to download.

Further Information about the 2011 WERS contact:

Stephanie Freeth
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,
1 Victoria Street,
London SW1H 0ET.
Tel: 020 7215 5073.

Email: stephanie.freeth@bis.gsi.gov.uk or wers@bis.gsi.gov.uk

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