Last updated
20 Jan 2022

In your main job, what is (was) your employment status?

How do I answer this question?

Select one option about the main job you have now. If you are not currently in work, answer about the last main job you had. Do not answer about earlier jobs you have had in your career.

Your main job is the job in which you usually work (or worked) the most hours.

If you are away from work ill or self-isolating, answer about the job you had before being away from work.

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

With employees – this means you are self-employed and have employees working for you

Without employees – this means you are self-employed and do not have employees working for you

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

I have more than one job. How do I answer?

Answer about the job you consider to be your main one. Choose the job in which you usually work (or worked) the most hours.

If you work (or worked) equal hours in one or more jobs, choose the one that has (or had) the highest wage or salary.

I am changing jobs. How do I answer?

If you are in the process of changing jobs, answer for the one you are doing now if it is your main job. Only answer for your new job if you have already left your previous employment.

I am retired. Do I need to answer this question?

Yes, it is important for retired people to answer the questions about qualifications and work. This is so we can provide statistics on the educational and employment trends and needs of the whole population.

Many people continue working and/or studying beyond traditional retirement ages, so there is an increasing demand for this information.

I am answering for somebody else. What do I do?

If you are answering on behalf of someone else, where possible you should ask them how they want to answer. If they are away, select the answer you think they would choose.

Why is this question asked?

The information gathered from this question helps to classify your occupation as accurately as possible. This information is used to inform economic policies and planning.

Who should answer this question?

This question should be answered for everybody who is aged 16 or over and has ever worked in paid employment.

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