Guidance on Census 2021 Field Operations visiting residential addresses

The Office for National Statistics will shortly be carrying out the Census 2021 across England and Wales. Census Day is Sunday 21st March. After this day, in your authority, census officers will be:

  • knocking on doors following up non-responders
  • helping the public with queries

From 22nd March 2021 the field census officers will be working across England and Wales. They have recruited around 29000 members of staff to carry out home visits.

All their officers will be carrying official identification cards. The card will have a photograph and the officer’s name. The officers will work through the day to make contact with residents but will not call before 09:00 or after 20:00.

Any member of the public concerned that the person on their doorstep is not a census officer can call the number on the critical workers letter that the officer can show them. 

Census officers will never ask for any money or bank details at any point during the conversation with respondents. 

Census staff in the field are classed as key workers. The law allows that where there is a lockdown people can leave their home for work if they cannot work from home. As their role cannot be carried out by working from home, they are allowed to carry out the duties of their role. 

The health and safety of the public and the census field force is of the utmost importance. Field force routines in Census 2021 have been planned with the health and safety of both the public and field staff front and centre. All officers will work in a socially distanced way; they will all be wearing PPE and they will not enter anyone’s home. 

The Office for National Statistics has several important studies and surveys continuing alongside the census (more details here). It is, therefore, possible that an address will be visited by staff working on other surveys too.  

More information is also available at www.census.gov.uk, or you can email 2021Census.LA.Liaison@ons.gov.uk 

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