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Polish Migrant Essential Workers in the UK during COVID-19: Survey Metadata, 2021

posted on 2023-07-27, 23:15 authored by Aneta PiekutAneta Piekut, Anna Gawlewicz, Kasia Narkowicz, Sharon Wright, Paulina Trevena, Thi Phuong Linh Le


Piekut, Aneta; Gawlewicz, Anna; Narkowicz, Kasia; Wright, Sharon; Trevena, Paulina; Le, Thi Phuong Linh (2023). Polish Migrant Essential Workers in the UK during COVID-19: Survey Data, 2021. The University of Sheffield. Dataset.


This data was generated in an online survey with Polish migrant essential workers (PMEW) living in the United Kingdom (UK) during the Covid-19 pandemic. It consists of two datasets. The first dataset - which we called ‘PMEW Clickers’ - contains data for all survey participants (observations: 2,061; variables: 115), while the second dataset contains only valid responses, that is responses from participants who answered at least 60% of the core survey questions (observations: 1,105; variables: 113), and we called it ‘PMEW Respondents’.

The survey fieldwork was conducted online during the Covid-19 pandemic between 22 February and 12 April 2021, following the third UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown. The responses were collected using a standardised questionnaire published in two languages: Polish and English. The survey relied on a variety of non-probability and convenience sampling techniques suitable to recruit so called ‘hard-to-reach’ populations. The largest part of responses - two thirds - came from participants recruited via a dedicated Facebook advertisement campaign targeting Polish migrants in the UK who were active users of the Facebook social media at that time.

The broad aim of the survey was to find out which spheres of life of PMEW were affected most by the pandemic, that is since March 2020. Overall, the survey was divided into 10 thematic blocks of questions and consisted of 40 questions. The questionnaire covered such topics as: employment situation and work experiences during the pandemic, health impacts of Covid-19 pandemic, household and caring responsibilities, economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, migration status and stay plans and demographic profile (gender, age, migration legal status, length of residency, education, income). The online nature of the survey allowed us to collect additional passive data improving data usability. For example, variables generated through passive data collection recorded where our respondents came from (Facebook ads, project website, partner organisation help), which Facebook ad they clicked on to access the survey, or what was the language – Polish or English – of the questionnaire they filled in.

This metadata repository includes a detailed methodological report (PMEW Technical report) presenting the survey design and post-fieldwork data preparation, two codebooks overviewing both datasets and questionnaires in two languages. All files were saved in a variety of commonly used and open formats.

The datasets are saved in the linked data repository and under embargo until 26 July 2024.

The research received ethical approval from the University of Glasgow (400200070) and the University of Sheffield (037633).

Please read the README file for a more detailed description of the content of this repository.


Health, social, economic and cultural impacts of COVID-19 on migrant essential workers in the UK

Economic and Social Research Council

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  • The project has ethical approval and the number is included in the description field


  • The data complies with the institution and funders' policies on access and sharing

Sharing and access restrictions

  • The data can be shared openly

Data description

  • The file formats are open or commonly used

Methodology, headings and units

  • Headings and units are explained in the files
  • There is a file including methodology, headings and units, such as a readme.txt