The 2020 survey is the first in the ESS series that has been published as Official Statistics. ESS 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 figures referred to in this publication were published in research reports by the UK Government Department for Education (DfE).
The population from which the Scottish ESS sample was taken is all 'establishments' in Scotland that had at least two people working there (including owners and working proprietors). This approach has been taken as it tends to be much easier for survey respondents to think in terms of the overall 'headcount' for their site – including both working proprietors and employees – than to separate out these two groups. This is particularly when the lines between the two are not clear-cut. For example, it is typically easier for employers to answer about recruitment channels for all Managers/staff, rather than 'only those Managers who are not working proprietors.'
The Scottish ESS 2020 also excluded the self-employed (with no employees). The question approach for this group would need to be somewhat different, since they are by definition not 'employers'. There is also an absence of robust population figures for this group, meaning robust and representative sampling and weighting is difficult to achieve.
Telephone interviews were conducted between October and December 2020. A total of 3,497 interviews were achieved.
Further detailed information on methodology is available in the accompanying technical report, published on the Scottish Government website.
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