Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings linked to PAYE and Self-Assessment data – England, Scotland and Wales

This dataset links the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Self-Assessment data provided by His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The linkage of ASHE with the PAYE data helps to address information gaps concerning changes in the labour market within the 12-month intervals between ASHE surveys. This has the potential to enhance our understanding of earnings and labour market transitions in Britain. Linking ASHE to PAYE and SA allows us to understand better a person’s whole interaction with the labour market.

This dataset was developed as part of the Wage and Employment Dynamics project to aid better understanding of wage inequalities in Britain.

Component datasets and linkage

The ASHE dataset includes de-identified personal information such as age, gender, employment information (such as wage and working hours), and employer information (such as the work postcode). ASHE has been linked HMRC data on earnings. The PAYE data provides details of point-in-time employment of people and what they have been paid. The Self-Assessment data provides employees’ income from self-employment and other forms of income.

Timeframe ASHE: 1997-2018. HMRC-PAYE: 2015-2019. HMRC-Self-Assessment: 2011-2018
Update Frequency ASHE: Annual. HMRC-PAYE: monthly/weekly/yearly. HMRC-Self-Assessment: Annual.
Population ASHE: ASHE achieved sample (approx. 0.66% of the entire workforce). HMRC-PAYE and Self-Assessment: ASHE population (1% of the entire workforce).
Coverage England, Scotland and Wales
Size ASHE: approximately 130,000 individuals observed. HMRC-PAYE and Self-Assessment: approximately 180,000 individuals observed.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings linked to PAYE and Self-Assessment data – England, Scotland and Wales


Examples of research questions

  • How much do self-employment and employment income substitute for each other?
  • How large is the gender wage gap in all earned income?
  • Is greater variation in wages through time associated with low pay?
  • Is the volatility of changes in employment and/or income related to location/region?
  • What are the differences in income and employment volatility between the weekly and monthly paid?
  • Does having a student loan increase the likelihood of working in the gig economy?

This list is illustrative only and intended to demonstrate the research potential of the dataset. For research priorities, see the areas of research interest or the ADR UK funding opportunity.

Core documentation

Icon representing a user

User guide

The user guide for the HMRC PAYE and self-assessment data is available to download from the the Wage and Employment Dynamics project website

Other supporting resources

Resource Description
Training to use the data See the upcoming training opportunities on the data on the Wage and Employment Dynamics website.
Wage and Employment Dynamics The data linkage project’s website provides code files, methodology papers, community of interest group, data documentation, and news.


Accessing the data

Access the ASHE linked to PAYE and Self-Assessment dataset via the ONS Secure Research Service. Researchers who are fully accredited under the Digital Economy Act (2017) can apply for access.

More information on how to access the dataset will be available soon. 

Funding opportunity

ADR UK is funding policy-relevant research using ADR England flagship datasets. Research fellows will address priority research questions, generate insights and demonstrate the value of ADR England data. These datasets are held securely within the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service or other trusted research environments.

Learn more

"Linking HMRC data will provide a richer data resource that will broaden and deepen the types of labour market analysis which will be possible. In particular, linking PAYE and Self-Assessment data will: provide more timely estimates and fill in gaps on labour market transitions between ASHE survey intervals; enable a better evaluation of the impact of the minimum wage employment and earnings; provide a broader picture of an employee’s income beyond earnings; expand the view beyond employee jobs to include the self-employed, and; support the validation and calibration of earnings survey data."

Tim Butcher, Chief Economist and Deputy Secretary, Low Pay Commission