The Workplace Employee Relations Surveys are held under the UK Data Archive generic study number 33176 and data are available in cross-section, panel and time-series datasets.
The 1980, 1984 and 1990 surveys were conducted among a cross-section of establishments in Great Britain with 25 or more employees. The scope of the fourth (1998) survey was widened to include establishments with 10 or more employees.
Each year of the survey contains questionnaire responses from managers. The 1998 cross-section survey also contains data from interviews held with worker representatives as well as information from a self-completion questionnaire which employees in the selected workplace were invited to fill-in.
Managers participating in the survey were usually the most senior manager at the workplace with responsibility for employment relations. They were asked mainly factual questions covering a wide range of issues that deal with the employment relationship. Some examples include: recruitment and training, consultation and communication, worker representation, payment systems, equal opportunities, health and safety, flexibility and performance, change, and attitudes to work.
Worker representatives were interviewed where there was a lay representative of a recognised union at the workplace or, if there was no recognised union, with the senior employee representative of any joint consultative committee operating at the workplace. An interview was only conducted with the permission of management. Representatives were asked about the duties they performed when dealing with management and employees.
Employees were randomly selected by the interviewer from a list of all employees provided by the management respondent. A maximum of 25 employees were selected, however, in workplaces with fewer than 25 employees, all were asked to complete the questionnaire. Questions asked were predominantly concerned with the employees attitudes and impressions of work covering issues such as satisfaction and commitment.