The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES)

The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) is an annual survey which is used as the official source for employee and employment estimates in the UK by detailed geography and industry. BRES was introduced in 2009, replacing the Annual Business Inquiry, Part 1 (ABI/1) and has two main purposes; it is used for producing published annual employment statistics and secondly, it collects data which is used to update local unit information and business structures on the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) which is the main sampling frame for business surveys conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
BRES is a sample survey which currently samples around 80,000 businesses in Great Britain across the whole economy. Employment information is sought from businesses for each site that they operate, allowing employee and employment estimates to be produced by detailed geography (including urban-rural) and detailed industry (up to 5-digit SIC). Estimates can also be made on the split of full-time/part-time workers and whether the business is public/private.
The IDBR is used as the sampling frame from which a stratified random sample is drawn for BRES. The strata are defined by SIC 2007, by country and by employment size, with all employment sizes of businesses being covered. If an enterprise is selected for BRES, then all its constituent local units are selected and data are requested from each local unit. Broadly, the sample is stratified into: large or complex enterprises, unusual enterprises, and medium and small enterprises.
As a representative sample each responding business represents a number of similar businesses from the IDBR, based on number of employees and the SIC 2007. The sampling weights are adjusted for non-response and births and deaths within the BRES business universe and are combined with calibration weights, based on IDBR employee counts, to produce overall weights to enable the estimates to represent the business population.
The BRES sample does not cover Northern Ireland; these data are supplied directly to ONS by The Department of Finance and Personnel Northern Ireland (DFPNI).These data are added to the GB based tables produced by the BRES results system to produce UK based tables published on the ONS website.