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Generate the Earnings, hours and employment cost survey report as an XML submission file

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If your business has been selected to take part in the Earnings, Hours and Employment Cost Survey (EHECS) survey, this guide explains how to generate the correct file in Sage Payroll.


The Earnings, Hours and Employment Cost Survey (EHECS)  compiles indicies for the purpose of monitoring change in labour costs in Ireland and across the EU. The report must cover all payrolls belonging to the same tax registration company and be submitted quarterly to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

If your business has been selected to participate in this survey, you must set up your payroll for CSO reporting . You can then generate the EHECS report as an XML data file and upload it on the CSO website.

The recommended approach is to submit this report is as an electronic version of the report (in XML format). This has a number of advantages:

  • It eliminates the need for laborious transcribing of information onto paper forms.
  • The electronic submission contains more comprehensive information.
  • It's easier for the CSO to extract the required information from an electronic data file, which means they're less likely to need to contact you.

To do it this way, follow the steps in the section below.

NOTE: Alternatively, it is possible to generate and send a paper copy of the report to the Central Statistics Office instead - Read more >



  1. On the menu bar, click Reports then click Payroll Reports.
  2. Click the Company tab.
  3. Under File Exports, click Create EHECS Data File.


  4. Click Continue.
  5. For each payroll you want to include on the EHECS report, select the Include check box and enter the payroll's password, if required.
  6. Click Continue then click Next.

Select Quarter

  1. Under Select your Reporting Quarter, click the relevant quarter.
  2. Under Select Return Type, select one of the following options:

    Original If you haven't already submitted a EHECS data file to the CSO for this quarter, select this option.
    Amended If you've already submitted a EHECS data file to the CSO for this quarter, but some employee or payment details have subsequently changed, select this option.
    Supplementary (Original)
    If you have selected a Director/Executive only payroll in step 5 and are not including any other payroll in the EHECS data file, select this option.
    Supplementary (Amended)If you've already submitted a Supplementary EHECS data file to the CSO for this quarter, but some Director/Executive or payment details have subsequently changed, select this option.If you need to edit the minimum wage rate, under Applicable Minimum Wage, click Edit.
  3. Enter the administrator password, then click OK and enter the value.
  4. Click Next.

Complete Part 1 to 2


  1. Check the information is correct. If it's not, select the Override Calculated Values check box, then add or edit the information as required.
  2. Once you've entered all the necessary information, to proceed, click Next.
  3. Repeat steps 11 and 12 for each window of the wizard in turn, until all ten parts of the report are complete.
    NOTE: Employees will only be included in the report if they received payment in the first pay period of the relevant quarter for As at first day of quarter section and if they received payment in the last pay period of the relevant quarter for As at last day of quarter section. This is how Sage Payroll decides whether to include an employee in these values. This is the same for all employee counts in the EHECS report.

Declaration to CSO

  1. Within the Declaration to CSO window, enter your company's address, contact details and any comments that you think will help the CSO staff to interpret the data you're submitting to them.
  2. To proceed, click Next.
  3. If any discrepancies are found in your data, the EHECS Data File Validation report appears.
    Before you proceed any further, you must resolve these issues. If you want to acknowledge that you're aware of these discrepancies and wish to continue, select the I understand check box then click Next.
     NOTE: The CSO no longer require information about annual leave or bank holiday. So if you're only prompted about issues with annual leave or bank holiday values, you can ignore them. To proceed, select the I understand check box, then click Next.

Create Data file

  1. Click Browse, browse to the location you want to save the CSO data file, then click OK.
  2. To proceed, click Create.
  3. To print the EHECS report, click Print Full Report (For your records).
  4. Click Open Folder containing EHECS Data File, then click Done and Cancel.

You’ve successfully generated the EHECS data file and can now submit it to the CSO.