2016 Provisional and 2015 Revised Estimates Released

Provisional 2016 and revised 2015 Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) estimates were released at 09:30 on Monday 02 October 2017. The new estimates include the addition of a population of solely PAYE based businesses with employment counts less than 20. This improvement in coverage is estimated to have increased the business survey population by 95,000 businesses between December 2015 and January 2016 and is reflected in the new BRES 2016 estimates.

To help users understand the impact of the inclusion of these solely PAYE based businesses on the BRES figures, two versions of the 2015 revised figures have been provided:

  • One with these businesses excluded (inline with previous years) – in datasets labelled “excluding units registered for PAYE only”.
  • One with them included - in the main BRES series available for 2015 and 2016 only.

Users can thus use these two versions of the 2015 revised data to see their effect on the 2015 estimates. A section in the Statistical Bulletin reviews the impact that the inclusion of solely PAYE businesses has made to the 2015 revised estimates. However both datasets are available via Nomis so more detailed comparisons can be made.

Access Changes to BRES Estimates

As described in the BRES consultation document published on 24 February 2016, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has undertaken a review of how disclosive data are disseminated across the organisation, as well as the statistical disclosure control methods applied to business survey outputs.

As a result the method of accessing BRES data on Nomis has changed. Access to unrounded estimates has been removed and replaced by a two-level access system:

  1. Open access datasets. These allow anyone, including non-UK based individuals and organisations, to access rounded estimates without restriction. Open access datasets contains the same breakdowns as the safeguarded access datasets but outputs are subject to higher rounding boundaries for disclosure control purposes.

  2. Safeguarded access datasets. These provide access to BRES estimates at a lower level of rounding than the open access datasets and are only available to UK-based individuals and organisations. Special authorisation via an End User Licence agreement is required to access safeguarded datasets. Details of how to apply are provided in a separate news item.

These datasets are available under the Business Register and Employment Survey section in the query data tool.

Any user of BRES estimates who wishes to still access unrounded estimates can still do so by applying for access through the Secure Research Service (SRS). Details on how to do so can be obtained from the SRS team by emailing Research.Support@ons.gov.uk or telephoning +44 (0)1329 447871 .


Amendment history

6 Nov 2017: Updated to include details of the new ONS Secure Research Service (SRS) which replaced the Virtual Microdata Laboratory (VML) from 1 Nov 2017.