Last updated
25 Jan 2022

In the last seven days, were you doing any of the following?

How do I answer this question?

This question is asking about your working status during the week of 13 March 2022 to 20 March 2022.

Your answers should be about any paid or unpaid work for:

  • an employer
  • your own business
  • a family business

You should include unpaid work only if it has been for your own, or a family business.

Do not include any other voluntary or unpaid work.

Select all the options that apply. Include training programmes only if you are being paid to attend.

I am temporarily away from work. Which option do I select?


Select ‘Temporarily away from work ill, on holiday or temporarily laid off’ if any of these apply, whether or not you were paid during this period.

If you have been absent from work and you do not expect to return to work for the same employer, select ‘none of the above’.

If you are away from work ill or self-isolating because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, select 'Temporarily away from work ill, on holiday or temporarily laid off'.

What do the terms mean?

Working as an employee - this means you are either paid a wage by an employer for the work you do or on a paid training programme

Self-employed - this means you own your business or professional practice. You may own the business with a business partner, family or alone

Freelance – this means you are self-employed and work for different companies or people, on particular pieces of work

Temporarily laid off – this means your employer has asked you not to come to work for a certain period, usually because there is not enough work for you to do at that time. Choose this option if this applies to you and you expect to go back to work for the same employer

Maternity or paternity leave - this covers time away from work after having a baby or adopting a child. It includes shared parental leave (SPL)

Doing any other kind of paid work - this means you have received any sort of payment for doing work. This does not have to include payment by money 

Additional information

  • jury service: if you are on jury service between Monday 13 March and Sunday 20 March 2022, select the option that best describes what you would normally have been doing. For example, if you are employed, choose ‘Working as an employee’
  • tribunals: if you are waiting for a decision from an employment tribunal, select the options that best describe your status during the week from Monday 13 March to Sunday 20 March 2022
  • voluntary work: do not include voluntary work

Why is this question asked?

This question gathers information on the economic activity of the population. This is used to develop employment policies and can, for example, help to identify areas of low economic activity, where training schemes may be needed.

Who should answer this question?

This question should be answered for everybody who is aged 16 or over.

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