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Frequently asked questions

This website is designed to tell you everything you need to know about working on Census 2021. But if you have questions, here’s where to look. Below, you can discover what people frequently ask us and find the answers you need.

The annual leave allowance is 28 days including public holidays in England and Wales, calculated on a pro-rata basis based on employment duration and hours worked. There are restrictions on when holidays can be taken for operational reasons which may vary according to the role undertaken.

Please refer to the job descriptions for further details.

If you have questions or need help at any stage of the process, please contact us by email: or visit the contact us page. Remember to include your contact telephone number and email address (if it differs from the one you email us from). We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

We’re recruiting for a range of fixed-term jobs, from managers and supervisors who co-ordinate activities, to officers who help the public complete questionnaires. A variety of full-time and part-time opportunities are available. All roles require the flexibility to work evenings and weekends.

Please select “Search for a job” button to search for opportunities in your area and apply online.

We’re recruiting to roles located throughout England and Wales.

All opportunities are advertised on the “Search for a job” page. Please select the “More information” button to view job descriptions and if the job is live, you can apply for the role and start your application

Select “Search for a Job” button to see a summary for each job. You’ll be able to view the job description via the “More information” button, if you want to view further information about each one.

You can apply online. Select “Search for a job” to view all the different jobs available, to register and begin your application.

The Civil Service Nationality Rules govern eligibility for employment in the Civil Service on the grounds of nationality. You must therefore fulfil the required eligibility criteria before you can progress an application with the Office for National Statistics.

You’re eligible to apply if you are a:

  • UK national
  • Commonwealth Citizen
  • national of the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Swiss or Turkish national (subject to certain restrictions).

Certain family members of EEA, Swiss and Turkish nationals who are not themselves EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals, may also be eligible. The nationality requirements for census roles are determined by the Civil Service nationality requirements. For full details about these requirements and exceptions, including dual nationality (that is, you are a British citizen and are also a national of another country), please check this website for further information.

Rates of pay vary, according to the role. You’ll find the pay details for each role on each job description page.

You will receive your pay on a weekly basis.

For the majority of roles, it typically takes about 10 minutes to complete the online application form. Please refer to the application process

We’re recruiting a large number of people to work on Census 2021 over the next 10 months. This gives us enough time to give equal consideration to all and complete pre‐employment checks. There may be long periods of time before you hear from us, but we’ll try to keep you up to date regarding the progress of your application.

We carry out pre‐employment checks to make sure that anyone who applies for a job on the census is suitable to be into regular contact with members of the public.

Pre‐employment checks include:

  • for roles of twelve weeks or under, receipt of one year’s satisfactory employment history
  • for roles for more than twelve weeks, receipt of three year’s satisfactory employment history
  • checking your employment history by obtaining references for the previous 1-3 years
  • carrying out a criminal records check for convictions that are unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

The criminal records check will be at the expense of the Office for National Statistics. Please note, you are still able to apply if you have not been in employment during the previous three years.

Yes. The conditions are:

  • you can only have one live application at any one time.
  • please consider the start dates of the roles you are interested in and what is your preferred role
  • apply first for the position you are most interested in if the start dates of your preferences clash
  • you can apply for subsequent / new roles when your application is complete. By complete we mean:
    • you have been successful in your application and are now working or waiting to start your role (returned you signed contract)
    • you have unfortunately not been successful and been notified by the Adecco team
      • this may be at, but not limited to, at any of stage of the process such as Situational Judgement Test (SJT), Language assessment or Competency Based Interview (CBI) if applicable
    • you have withdrawn from your current application and informed the team of your decision and received your notification.

We need to ensure that all candidates go through the same recruitment process. This is to comply with fair and open competition rules applying to the public sector and equal opportunities legislation. Also, the remit and duties for roles will change for each census

We’ll give you a virtual induction when you start your contract. In addition, we’ll provide you with online learning that ensures you know what to expect when you’re out in the field. If you’re applying for a management role, we’ll invite you to attend a virtual classroom session. This will give you the extra skills you need to get the best out of your teams.

Yes. However, student visas restrict the number of hours you can work per week, during term-time, and the majority of census roles involve term-time working.

Depending on the course, you can normally only work the following hours when sponsored by a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI):

  • full-time course below degree level: up to 10 hours per week during term-time
  • full-time course at degree level or above: up to 20 hours per week during term-time

It’s your responsibility to provide documentary evidence of your right to work in the UK. If you’re resident in the UK on a student visa, you should check that you can complete the role without breaching the terms of your visa.

We’ll only pay expenses when you are travelling within your allocated work area to carry out your role. We will not pay expenses for travel between your home and your place of work.

Adecco UK Ltd has been contracted by the Office for National Statistics to provide recruitment, training and payroll for Census 2021. All staff will be employed by the Office for National Statistics.

For some roles, you must hold a driving licence that’s valid in the UK and have the use of a vehicle (insured for business use), for which you’ll be paid a mileage allowance. If you don’t have business insurance before you apply, you will need to provide us with proof before your induction that you have acquired this.

A young person can only start full-time work once they’ve reached the minimum school leaving age. For part-time work, restrictions apply. In England, a young person must be in part-time education or training until they’re 18. In Wales, you can leave school on the last Friday in June, as long as you’ll be 16 by the end of that school year’s summer holidays.

For further information, please visit

Each job listing contains details of the pay rates for the role. You will receive your pay on a weekly basis.

Payments will be made within set periods. This will be outlined in the contract of employment you receive, before starting work.

You’ll be asked to provide your bank account details before starting work, and payment will be made by BACS transfer to this account.


Due to the measures we have put in place to minimise the risk of coronavirus, all face-face interviews will be done at the virtual welcome events. These will be done by video call. Only those that are applying for a manager or supervisor grade role will require an interview.

The virtual welcome event will require you to have web cam facilities to enable us to have a video call with you. You will also be required to have this for your induction and online learning. We will be using WebEx as our conference call provider, download WebEx to your smart device here

Any smart device with webcam capabilities will work. This could be a mobile phone, laptop, tablet. You will need to download WebEx before your virtual welcome event. You can do that here.

We are doing everything reasonably practical to reduce any risks caused by Covid-19. Our virtual welcome events and virtual induction and online learning will reduce the risk of contact with large groups.

If you have any questions or need help at any stage of the process, please contact us by email or telephone without delay.

If you need us to make certain changes (known as 'reasonable adjustments') to make sure you’re not disadvantaged during the recruitment process, you should contact us. Remember to include your contact telephone number and email address (if it differs from the one you email us from). We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The information provide will only be used for the purposes of determining if reasonable adjustments are required during the recruitment process. We are committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst the workforce.