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About elections in Sandwell

Work during an election

You can apply to work on election day. A number of positions are available, for example Presiding Officers, Poll Clerks and counting staff. Find out more about the roles involved.

No experience is necessary for some positions but to apply for a Presiding Officer position you need previous experience as a Poll Clerk.

The fees paid for these positions varies depending upon the type of election (parliamentary or local).

If you are interested, please complete an application form.

We hold a database of staff who we write to annually prior to main elections asking about availability. We send a questionnaire to gather your details.

We appoint staff by letter about six weeks before an election for polling jobs and two to three weeks before polling day for count jobs.


You must be at least 18 years old to work in a polling station, on the count or assist with the annual canvass, whereas you need only be 16 years old to work as a counting assistant. You must also be entitled to work in the UK (in accordance with the provisions of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996).

If successful, prior to taking up your appointment, you must provide evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK by showing us either:

  • a passport, or
  • full birth certificate showing parentage and proof of National Insurance Number (e.g. P60, P45, payslip, etc.).

Polling and count staff must not work on behalf of a candidate during an election campaign, nor be related to or be a partner of a prospective candidate.

Polling and count staff must consent to working in excess of the normal working hours provided for by the Working Time Directive.

Please note all appointments are directly for the Returning Officer and not the council and as such the council's normal recruitment policies and procedures do not apply for these temporary posts.

We often have more applications than vacancies and we make it clear that if someone is not initially allocated for a post then they are added to our reserve list as we often have a number of initially allocated staff drop out for various reasons.

We then call our reserves as appropriate vacancies arise. We do use a number of our own staff in the first instance and supplement this with additional staff from outside who we hold on our database of temporary staff. We then consider the person's experience; availability; preferences; where they live or whether they have access to a car and are prepared to travel.

Whilst we will follow the principles of equality of opportunity and good employment practices the Returning Officer's decision on individual appointments is final and we will not normally notify unsuccessful applicants or enter in to correspondence regarding unsuccessful applications.

We also monitor performance and where the Returning Officer feels that performance has not been as expected we reserve the right not to re-employ for future work.

The Returning Officer now has to provide a National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) pension

In your new employment you will not be automatically admitted into the NEST pension scheme. However, you can elect to join NEST at any time. If you wish to join NEST please contact the HR Employee Help Line on 0121 569 3300.

Please note this employment is subject to the auto-enrolment regulations contained in the Pensions Act 2008. This Act requires all employers to automatically enrol certain employees into a qualifying pension scheme. Employees who must be enrolled are between the age of 22 and state pension age and earning over £10,000.00 per annum. (Prorated per pay period)

NEST is a qualifying pension scheme for auto-enrolment and I would advise you to obtain more information regarding the benefits of membership by visiting the NEST website.

You can opt out of the scheme but only after you have been auto-enrolled. Anyone joining the scheme will automatically be sent details of how to opt out either online or by telephone.

If you wish to receive a refund of any contributions paid you must opt out within 30 days of the date you joined the scheme.

Pages in "About elections in Sandwell"

  1. About elections in Sandwell
  2. Election results
  3. Local elections
  4. General (parliamentary) elections
  5. European elections
  6. You are here Work during an election