Catalogue

UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Workplace Employee Relations Survey, 2011

Title details

SN: 7226
Title: Workplace Employee Relations Survey, 2011
Alternative title: WERS 2011; WERS6
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7226-7
Series: Workplace Employment Relations Survey [Workplace Employee Relations Survey, 1980-]
Depositor: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Principal investigator(s): Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Data collector(s): NatCen Social Research
Sponsor(s): Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Economic and Social Research Council
UK Commission for Employment and Skills
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Grant number: National Institute of Economic and Social Research's participation is funded by the Nuffield Foundation: OPD/37358.
Other acknowledgements: The project was overseen by the 2011 WERS Steering Committee which was made up of the sponsoring organisations. Over the life of the project the members included:
  • Department of Business Innovation and Skills - Vivien Brighton, Bernard Carter, Sumit Rahman, Kelly Taylor, Bill Wells (Chair) and Stella Yarrow
  • Economic and Social Research Council – Scott Court, Prof Peter Elias, Claire Feary, Joanna Lake and Prof Stephen Wood
  • UK Commission for Employment and Skills - Richard Garrett and Aiofe Ni Launaigh
  • Health and Safety Executive - Beverly Bishop, Anthony Burke and Alison Higgins
  • Acas - Gill Dix and Fiona Neathey
  • National Institute of Economic and Social Research - Alex Bryson and John Forth
Primary research and analysis was carried out by the WERS Research Team. Members included: Mark McConaghy (initial Project Leader), Brigid van Wanrooy (Project Leader), Helen Bewley, Alex Bryson, John Forth, Stephanie Freeth, Hulya Hooker, Lucy Stokes and Prof. Stephen Wood.
The NatCen research team consisted of: Martin Wood, Tracy Anderson, Kavita Deepchand, Emma Drever, Nick Gilby, Zoe Lancaster, Yvette Prestage, and Sarah Tipping.
Susan Purdon and Prof Chris Skinners provided advice on weighting the data.
At the initial stages of the survey development, a consultation led by Prof. Stephen Wood was conducted with WERS users including academics and policy makers and practitioners. Many people took the time to meet with the WERS research team or make a submission about the content of the 2011 WERS.
Finally, the WERS6 team would like to thank the managers, employees and worker representatives who voluntarily gave up their time to participate in the study.

Citation

The citation for this study is:

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, National Institute of Economic and Social Research. (2015). Workplace Employee Relations Survey, 2011. [data collection]. 6th Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 7226, http://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-7226-7

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Subject Categories

Industrial relations - Employment and labour
Management and organisation - Industry and management

Abstract

Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The Workplace Employment Relations Study, 2011 (also known as WERS6) is the sixth in a series of national surveys of employment relations at the workplace level. Earlier surveys were conducted in 1980, 1984, 1990, 1998 and 2004 (the series was originally known as the Workplace Industrial Relations Survey, or WIRS). The aim of each survey in the WERS series has been to provide large-scale, statistically reliable evidence about a broad range of employment relations and practices across almost every sector of the economy in Great Britain. The data were collected to serve three purposes: to map British employment relations over time; to inform policy and practice, and stimulate debate; and to provide a comprehensive and statistically robust dataset on British workplace employment relations for public use.

The 1990, 1998 and 2004 WERS comprised a freshly selected cross-section sample and a separate, more limited panel sample consisting of workplaces who participated in the previous cross-section survey. The key design innovation of the 2011 WERS was the integration of the two elements so that workplaces in the panel sample were eligible for all four components of WERS 2011. Weights were devised to enable the panel sample to be combined with the fresh sample to form a combined cross-sectionally representative sample. The WERS 2011 has four components: a Survey of Managers comprising the Employee Profile Questionnaire (EPQ) and the Management Questionnaire (MQ); a Survey of Worker Representatives (WRQ); a Survey of Employees (SEQ); and a Financial Performance Questionnaire (FPQ) which detailed the financial performance of trading sector establishments in the 12 months before the survey. The FPQ data, alongside region identifiers, detailed industry codes for the MQ and other anonymised but potentially disclosive data will be available through the UK Data Archive's Secure Data Service (see below).

The WERS sponsors have established the 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study: Information and Advice user support website for users of the WERS 2011 data. The site includes provision for users to contact the WERS research team with queries about the data. Further BIS information about WERS 2011, including the First Findings report and key tables are also provided on the gov.uk 2011 WERS webpage.

Confidentiality and anonymisation edits:
The following data items have been removed from the general-use (standard access or End User Licence (EUL)) version of WERS 2011: names of respondents, the workplace at which they worked, region identifiers, detailed industry classification below Section level, the Inter-departmental Business Register (IDBR) reference numbers, verbatim answers, and all data from the Financial Performance Questionnaire (FPQ). The restricted-access version of the data that will be available through the Secure Data Service (SDS) contains region identifiers, detailed industry classification, and the IDBR reference numbers of the workplaces that have consented to the linking of their WERS data to other sources and data from the FPQ. (Users should note that the SDS also holds a variety of data from WERS 2004 (WERS5).)

Latest edition:
For the sixth edition (September 2014), a new version of the management questionnaire (MQ) file was deposited, with additional variables included. Amendments have also been made to the mqsetup Stata 'do' file to take account of the additional variables. Finally, access restrictions have now been lifted on the Financial Performance Questionnaire (FPQ), so the data have been added to the study. For full details, see the updated Introductory Note in the documentation.

Main Topics:
The Survey of Managers (file wers11_mq_general_use) contains questions on workplace characteristics, recruitment and training, consultation and communication, employee representation, pay determination and payment systems, grievances and discipline, collective disputes and procedures, equal opportunities, work-life balance, health and safety, workforce flexibility, workplace performance, experience of the recession and workplace change.

The Survey of Worker Representatives (file wers11_wrq_general_use) contains questions on structure of representation at the workplace, time spent on representative duties, means of communication with employees, incidence of negotiation and consultation over pay and other matters, involvement in redundancies, discipline and grievance matters, collective disputes and industrial action, relations with managers, and union recruitment.

The Survey of Employees (file wers11_seq_general_use) contains questions on working hours, job influence, job satisfaction, working arrangements, training and skills, information and consultation, employee representation, and pay.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: March 2011 - June 2012 - The questions mostly asked about employment relations practices at the time of the interview but some questions asked about the 12-month or 2-year period prior to the interview.
Country: Great Britain
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Institutions/organisations
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Establishments
Employees
Managers
Trade union officers
Workplaces in Great Britain with five or more employees, excluding workplaces in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining and quarrying.
Time dimensions: Repeated cross-sectional study
Sampling procedures: One-stage stratified or systematic random sample; Multi-stage stratified random sample
See documentation for further details.
Number of units: MQ: 2,680 cases, SEQ: 21,981 cases, WRQ: 1,002 cases, FPQ: 545 cases.
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview; Telephone interview; Self-completion
Managers and worker representatives were interviewed face-to-face. The WRQ interview could be carried out on the telephone. The self-completion questionnaires (EPQ, FPQ and SEQ) could be completed on paper or online.
Weighting: Weighting used. See documentation for details.

Thesaurus search on keywords

View keywords... Hide keywords...
ACCOUNTANTSACCOUNTSADMINISTRATION
ADMINISTRATIVE AREASADVICEAGE
APPOINTMENT TO JOBARBITRATIONASSETS
ATTITUDE CHANGEATTITUDESBONUS PAYMENTS
BUILDINGSBUSINESS AND ADMINISTRATION STUDIESBUSINESS FORMATION
BUSINESS MANAGEMENTBUSINESS RECORDSBUSINESSES
CAPITALCENTRAL GOVERNMENTCHILD CARE
CHILDRENCHRONIC ILLNESSCLOSED SHOP AGREEMENTS
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTSCOLLECTIVE BARGAININGCOMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
COMMITTEESCOMMUNICATION PROCESSCOMMUNICATION SKILLS
COMMUTINGCOMPANIESCOMPUTER TECHNIQUES
CONCILIATIONCONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENTCONFLICT RESOLUTION
CONSUMER GOODSCONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTSCOSTS
CUSTOMERSDAY NURSERIESDEBILITATIVE ILLNESS
DECISION MAKINGDEVELOPMENT PLANNINGDEVELOPMENT
DISABILITIESDISCIPLINEDISCRIMINATION
DISMISSALDISSEMINATION OF INFORMATIONECONOMIC COMPETITION
ECONOMIC CONDITIONSECONOMIC VALUEEMPLOYEES
EMPLOYERS' ORGANIZATIONSEMPLOYERSEMPLOYER-SPONSORED TRAINING
EMPLOYMENT HISTORYEMPLOYMENT SERVICESEQUAL OPPORTUNITY
ETHNIC GROUPSEUROPEAN UNIONFINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
FINANCIAL RESOURCESFRANCHISES (BUSINESS)FRINGE BENEFITS
FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENTGENDERGOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
GOVERNMENT POLICYGREAT BRITAINGROUPS
HOME-BASED WORKHOURS OF WORKHUMAN RESOURCES
INCENTIVESINDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISESINDUSTRIAL INJURIES
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS PROCEDURESINDUSTRIAL TRIBUNALSINDUSTRIES
INFORMATION SOURCESINFORMATION TRANSFERINNOVATION
IN-SERVICE TRAININGINTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONINVOLUNTARY SHORT TIME WORKING
JOB CHARACTERISTICSJOB DESCRIPTIONJOB EVALUATION
JOB REQUIREMENTSJOB SATISFACTIONJOB SECURITY
JOB SHARINGJOB VACANCIESLABOUR DISPUTES
LABOUR ECONOMICSLABOUR FORCELABOUR PRODUCTIVITY
LABOUR RELATIONSLABOUR SUPPLYLAWYERS
LEAVELEGISLATIONLOBBYING
MANAGEMENT OPERATIONSMANAGERSMARITAL STATUS
MARKET STRUCTUREMARKETS (ECONOMICS)MEETINGS
MEMBERSHIPMENMERGERS
MINORITY GROUPSMUSCULOSKELETAL DISEASESOBJECTIVES
OCCUPATIONAL DISEASESOCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATIONSOCCUPATIONAL SAFETY
OCCUPATIONAL STATUSOCCUPATIONSOFFICE BUILDINGS
ORGANIZATIONSOVERTIMEPART-TIME EMPLOYMENT
PATERNITY LEAVEPERFORMANCE INDICATORSPERFORMANCE
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENTPERSONNEL RECORDSPERSONNEL SELECTION
PICKETINGPRIMARY DOCUMENTSPRIVATE SECTOR
PRIVATIZATIONPROBLEM SOLVINGPRODUCTIVITY
PRODUCTSPROFIT SHARINGPROFITS
PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTSPUBLIC SECTORPURCHASING
QUALIFICATIONSQUALITY CONTROLQUALITY
RATES OF PAYRECRUITMENTREDRESS OF GRIEVANCES
REDUNDANCYRELIABILITYRENTS
REPORTSRESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTRESISTANCE TO CHANGE
RESPIRATORY TRACT DISEASESREWARDSROLE CHANGE
SELF-EMPLOYEDSHARESSHIFT WORK
SICK LEAVESKIN DISEASESSMALL BUSINESSES
SOCIAL POLICYSPECIALISTSSTANDARDS
STRATEGIESSTRESS (PSYCHOLOGICAL)STRIKES
SUBCONTRACTINGSUBSCRIPTIONSSUBSIDIES
SUNDAY WORKINGSUPERVISIONSUPERVISORS
SURVEYSTEMPORARY EMPLOYMENTTERMINATION OF SERVICE
TOP MANAGEMENTTRADE ASSOCIATIONSTRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP
TRADE UNION OFFICIALSTRADE UNION RIGHTSTRADE UNIONS
TRAINING COURSESTRAININGTRANSNATIONAL ENTERPRISES
TURNOVERVOCATIONAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATESVOTING
WAGE DEMANDSWAGE DETERMINATIONWAGE INCREASES
WAGESWOMENWOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT
WORK ATTITUDEWORKERS PARTICIPATIONWORKERS' RIGHTS
WORKING CONDITIONSWORKS COUNCILS

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 19 February 2013
Latest edition: 02 February 2015 (6th Edition)
Copyright: Crown copyright held jointly with the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch

Documentation

Title File Name Size (KB)
Interviewer Handbook 7226_final_wers6_interviewer_handbook_26_january_2011.pdf 1915
SEQ Edit Instructions 7226_final_wers6_seq_edit_instructions_27_october_2011.pdf 569
Frequently Asked Questions 7226_guide_to_the_analysis_of_wers_2011_v1-2_7_january_2014.pdf 515
Design and Administration of WERS 2011 7226_the_design_and_administration_of_the_2011_wers_5_august_2013.pdf 903
Introductory Note for WERS 2011 Data 7226_wers2011_introductory_note_september_2014.pdf 355
User Guide for 2011 WERS Research Team Syntax Files 7226_wers2011_userguide_for_syntax_september_2014.pdf 579
First Findings Syntax Files: User Guide 7226_wers2011_userguide_on_first_findings_syntax_july_2014.pdf 393
"Editor Codebooks, Stages 1-3" 7226_wers6_editors_codebooks_stages1-3.pdf 2530
Employee Profile Questionnaire (EPQ) 7226_wers6_employee_profile_questionnaire_december_2010.pdf 207
Financial Performance Questionnaire (FPQ) 7226_wers6_financial_performance_questionnaire_december_2010.pdf 247
FPQ Edit Checks 7226_wers6_fpq_edit_checks_v4-2da_30_january_2013.pdf 795
Management Questionnaire (MQ) 7226_wers6_management_questionnaire_2011_4_december_2012.pdf 688
Questionnaire Change Registers 7226_wers6_questionnaire_change_registers.pdf 1051
Survey of Employees Questionnaire (SEQ) 7226_wers6_survey_of_employees_questionnaire_january_2011.pdf 239
Worker Representative Questionnaire (WRQ) 7226_wers6_worker_representative_questionnaire_2011.pdf 378
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7226_Information.htm 7
READ File read7226.htm 11

Publications

View publications... Hide publications...

By principal investigator(s):
General publications:

Details of publications and technical reports may be found on the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) Workplace Employee Relations Surveys web page, the WERS 2004 Information and Advice Service (WIAS) website and the gov.uk WERS 2004 and WERS 2011 webpages.

Publications specific to WERS 1990-1998 time-series data:
Millward, N., Forth, J. and Bryson, A. (1999) 'Changes in employment relations, 1990-1998', IN M. Cully et al. Britain at work: as depicted by the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey, London: Routledge.

Millward, N., Forth, J. and Bryson, A. (2000) All change at work? British employment relations 1980-1998, as portrayed by the Workplace Industrial Relations Survey series, London: Routledge.

WERS 2011:
van Wanrooy, B., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J., Freeth, S., Stokes, L. and Wood, S. (2013) The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study: first findings, London: Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. ISBN 987-0-85605-770-0.

van Wanrooy, B., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J., Freeth, S., Stokes, L. and Wood, S. (November 2013) Employment relations in the shadow of recession: findings from the 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-13727-577-6.

Resulting from secondary analysis:
Knight, K.G. and Latreille, P.L. (2000) 'Discipline, dismissals and complaints to employment tribunals', Journal of Industrial Relations, 0007-1080, December, pp.533-555.

Sutherland, J. (2003) 'The experience of work: is working for an overseas-owned multinational so different?', Employee Relations, 25(2), pp.149-167.

Sutherland, J. (2004) 'The prevalence of 'Japanese' management polices and practices in manufacturing workplaces in the UK', Asian Business and Management, 3, pp.39-56.

Sutherland, J. (2004) 'The determinants of training: evidence from the 1998 Workplace and Employee Relations Survey', Economic Issues, 9(1), pp.23-37.

Sutherland, J. (2004) 'The prevalence of 'Japanese' management policies and practices in manufacturing workplaces in Britain', Asian Business and Management, 3, pp.39-56.

Urwin, P., Michielsens, E. and Waters, J. (2006), 'The contribution of employee relations practice to high performance workplaces: case studies on work-life balance and diversity practice', CIPD Professional Standards Conference, Keele University, June 2006; also presented at BUIRA Conference 2006.

Urwin, P. and Buscha, F. (2007), 'Changing gender and ethnic diversity in the UK workplace: what can we learn from the 2004 WERS?', WERS 2004 User Group Meeting, March 2007.

Rose, M. (2007) 'Why so fed up and footloose in IT? Spelling out the associations between occupation and overall job satisfaction shown by WERS 2004', Industrial Relations Journal, 38(4), pp.356-384.

Rose, M. (2007) 'Extending coverage of job satisfaction in the Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004 Employee Survey', in K. Whitfield and K. Huxley (eds.) Substantive and methodological innovations in WERS 5: official guide, London/Swindon: DTI, PSI, NIESR and ESRC.

Rose, M. (2007) 'Qualifications and work attitudes: recent findings for the UK', in M. Chaponnière et al. (eds.) Bildung und Beschäftigung, Zurich: Rüegger Verlag; ISBN 978-3-7253-0809-5.

Rose, M. (2007) 'Compétences réquises et compétences offertes', in Sociologie empirique, sociologie critique: autour de Claude Durand, Toulouse: Octarès Éditions, EAN 9782915346534, ISSN 1957-9675.

Rose, M. (2007) 'Extending coverage of job satisfaction in the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations survey', paper presented at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, 23 March 2007.

Rose, M. and Brynin, M. (2007) 'Occupational flexibility: the career trajectories of it workers', paper presented at the BHPS Users Conference, University of Essex, 6 July, 2007, and at the Fifth WES International Conference, University of Aberdeen, 2007.

Siebert, W.S., Heywood, J. and Wei, X. (2007) 'The implicit costs of family friendly work practices', Oxford Economic Papers, 59(20), pp.275-300. (Uses WERS98)

Forth, J., Bewley, H. and Bryson, A. (2006) Small and medium-sized enterprises: findings from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, London: Department of Trade and Industry.

Kersley, B. et al. (2006) Inside the workplace: findings from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, London: Routledge.

Robert A. Hart, Yue Ma (2008) Wage-Hours Contracts, Overtime Working and Premium Pay, IZA Discussion Paper No. 3797, Bonn,Germany .

Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Stokes, L. (2012) 'Incentive pay: how important is it and does it work?', paper presented to the 9th Annual Labour Relations Conference, London Stock Exchange, 24 October.

Berger, J.L., Cucina, J.M., Walmsley, P.T. and Martin, N.R. (2015) 'General factor in employee surveys: a large-sample investigation', poster presented at the 30th meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Philadelphia, PA.

Jones, M.K., Latreille, P.L. and Sloane, P.J. Job anxiety, work-related psychological illness and workplace performance, IZA Discussion Paper No. 5809, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit/Institute for the Study of Labor. (version also forthcoming in the British Journal of Industrial Relations.) Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://ftp.iza.org/dp5809.pdf

Gould, M. and Urwin, P. (2016) Estimating the economic impact of Acas services, London: Acas.

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