The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings questionnaire was produced prior to the government response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, giving guidance about social distancing, enforced business closure and the announcement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“furloughing”).

The following guidance is provided to help you complete the survey, especially for employees who were absent from work in the pay period covering 22 April 2020.

Please note that information should be recorded for all employees if they still work for the organisation. This should include those employees being paid despite being absent for reasons such as, but not limited to:

  • sickness
  • maternity or paternity leave
  • being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

For these employees, the remainder of the questionnaire should be filled in about the job from which they were absent.

Guidance for specific columns in the survey

Column V: “How much basic pay, before deductions, did the employee receive in the pay period?”

Column W: “How many basic hours does the pay in column V relate to?”

For employees who were furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, please provide details as follows:

  • in column V provide the pay received (or will receive, if the employee has not yet received it) from your organisation’s payroll for the pay period (as specified in column T)
  • in column W provide the number of hours the employee normally works in that pay period

For examples showing how to complete the questions in columns V and W please refer to the examples at the end of this guidance. Some employees’ furlough pay will have been based partly on overtime pay and hours worked in previous months. If for any such employee you can differentiate between basic pay and overtime pay, please provide the basic pay and hours information in columns V and W, and the overtime pay and hours information in columns X and Y. If you cannot differentiate between basic pay and overtime pay, please provide all furlough information in columns V and W.

Column AD: “How much gross pay, before deductions, did the employee receive for work carried out in the pay period?”

Please provide the total gross pay received, even if the employee did not work in the pay period.

Column AF: “If [the employee’s basic pay in the pay period was calculated by multiplying the number of hours they worked by an hourly rate of pay], what was the employee’s hourly rate of pay in the pay period?”

This question is designed to give us an understanding of hourly rate of pay under normal circumstances. If answering this question, please provide the employee’s normal hourly rate of pay, rather than any calculation made to adjust for absences and associated reductions in rate of pay (for example, 80% of pay under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).

Column AG: “Did the employee earn less in the pay period due to absence from work?”

Record “Yes” for any employee whose pay was less because of any type of absence (for example, sickness, maternity or paternity leave, being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or other).

For employees who were furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme please record details as follows:

  • if your company did not top up the employee’s pay to its normal level, you should record “Yes” (that is, the employee did earn less) in column AG

  • if your company did top up the employee’s pay to its normal level, you should record “No” (that is, the employee did not earn less) in column AG

Comments box (column AW)

FOR EMPLOYEES WHO WERE FURLOUGHED under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, regardless of whether their pay was less or was topped up, please record details as follows:

  • if they were furloughed for the full pay period, write “FURLOUGH” in the comment box in column AW

  • if they were furloughed for only part of the pay period, and worked or were absent for the remainder of the pay period, write in “PART FURLOUGH”

FOR EMPLOYEES WHO WERE NOT FURLOUGHED under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, please record “NOT FURLOUGH”.

Please also include any other comments in column AW that you feel are relevant to your responses, and that may help us understand how your business has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Examples for completing column V “How much basic pay, before deductions, did the employee receive in the pay period?” and column W “How many basic hours does the pay in column V relate to?”

Example 1:

Employee A is paid Monthly (column T). They have been furloughed and will receive 80% of their normal monthly pay of £2,500 (“normal monthly pay” will have been provided by you when applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). Normal monthly pay is based on 173 hours 55 minutes of work (40 hours a week).

Column T: Calendar month
Column V (basic pay): £2,000.00 (this is 80% of £2,500)
Column W (basic hours):173 hours 55 minutes

Example 2:

Employee B is paid Monthly (column T). They have been furloughed and will receive their normal monthly pay of £2,500 (80% coming from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and 20% having been topped up by you as the employer). Normal monthly pay is based on 173 hours 55 minutes of work (40 hours a week).

Column T: Calendar month
Column V (basic pay): £2,500.00
Column W (basic hours): 173 hours 55 minutes

Example 3:

Employee C is normally paid Monthly (column T). They have been furloughed and will receive 80% of their normal pay of £2,500 (as provided by you when applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). Normal monthly pay is based on 173 hours 55 minutes of work (40 hours a week).

However, because of delays in payment, the pay period that includes 22 April 2020 was actually extended to 2 months.

Column T: Other (then specify “2 months”)
Column V (basic pay): £4,000 (£2,500.00 multiplied by 0.8 multiplied by 2)
Column W (basic hours): 347 hours 50 minutes (173 hours 55 minutes multiplied by 2)