Frequently asked questions - working at elections

Working with us

It is my first time working on an election, do I require any training?

Training varies for each job. You will be provided with online or face to face training for polling station roles, and will receive a briefing for all other roles on the day you start. More information on our roles can be found on the previous pages, and you can always contact us if you have any additional queries.

We are required to work long hours at the polling station, will we be allowed a break or to go outside for fresh air?

During busy periods staff are required to stay at their posts but Presiding Officers are responsible for informing staff when to take a comfort break when a suitable opportunity occurs. You are welcome to get some fresh air but must not leave the grounds of the polling station.

The polling venue I have been allocated to contains two polling stations, will this be an issue regarding one way systems and social distancing?

Recommended layouts for each type of polling station will be covered in training and Presiding Officers will be given a recommended layout when they collect their ballot box. We will be abiding by all government guidelines and protocols to keep you and our voters safe.

Who will be responsible for enforcement of government guidelines at the polling station during a pandemic?

The Presiding Officer is ultimately responsible for the running of the polling station. This role does not change but pandemics may bring additional challenges. All polling station staff will have additional support from polling station inspectors and the core elections team on and before polling day.

I have a family member/friend who is interested in working at the next election, how do they apply?

Firstly they would need to ensure they have applied to work with us. They must check that they fulfil our staff requirements and express their interest on our working for us at elections page. We will then send them the relevant documentation to complete. As long as they provide all of the information we require in good time before an election, we will try our best to allocate them a role.

Is it possible to work alongside a family member or friend at the election?

Yes of course! As long as you have all applied as staff and provided your information in good time then we will accommodate everyone to the best of our abilities. Please state if you have a preferred work partner on your staff availability form and although it's not guaranteed, we will try to allocate you a role together.

The polling station venue I have been allocated does not support the use of a one way system or have multiple doors, how will we manage this on polling day?

All polling station venues will have different numbers and locations of access points. One way systems will assist in complying with social distancing measures, but not all venues will have more than one door. These venues will have to allow access to one voter or support bubble at a time.

Will Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) be provided for staff working on elections or do we have to bring our own?

All PPE will be provided by us to allow you to undertake your role. Safety measures will be included on appointments for staff allocated a role and must be adhered to.

Will 'propping' open doors at polling stations for ventilation negate the regulation that fire doors must remain shut?

Fire doors containing the round blue sign 'fire door keep shut' must be kept shut, and touch points cleaned more regularly. All other doors can be propped open to prevent these touch points from being used and improve ventilation in addition to open windows.

Do I have to take my own utensils when working in a polling station during a pandemic?

Yes all polling station staff are responsible for making their own food and drink arrangements. You will need to take your own utensils such as cutlery, plates, bowls and cups.

Is it essential for my car insurance to have business use to work on elections?

We ask you to ensure you have this so you are covered if you have an accident whilst driving to and from your place of work (for example, the polling station). We don’t check this for each individual, but it is your responsibility to ensure you are covered and it is therefore your risk if you are not.

How can I ensure that a visually impaired voter has a good voting experience?

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has produced a five minute video to help polling station staff understand how they can improve the voting experience for those with a visual impairment. They have also drafted some top tips that may be useful for those working in polling stations.

Staff payment questions

I think I may have been paid the wrong amount for the role I undertook, how do I check this?

Please check the web page relating to the job you undertook. We have listed each role and the breakdown of the fees so you know what to expect. Training will only be paid to you if it was undertaken. If something still doesn't seem right please email your query to elections@herefordshire.gov.uk and we can look into it at our earliest opportunity.

I have been sent an email from Epay regarding setting up an account or viewing my pay slip, is this genuine?

Yes this is genuine. This email has been generated by our employee services department to allow you to access your pay slip for election work.

How do I access my payslip?

You will need to contact employee services at employeeservices@hoopleltd.co.uk providing them with your full name, address and email address. They can then send you an email to set up your online payslip account.

I have been sent a link to access my pay slip but I don't know my employee number?

Your employee number acts as your username. Please email us at elections@herefordshire.gov.uk to ask for it - providing your name and address, and we will send it to you.

I have forgotten my username/password to access my pay slip

You will need to contact employee services at employeeservices@hoopleltd.co.uk stating your full name and that you have forgotten your username/password.

Tax has been deducted from my elections payment and it shouldn't have been. How do I get this back?

You will need to contact the HMRC to get this tax returned to you. Electoral Services cannot do this for you.

Send a letter addressed to HM Revenue & Customs, Pay As You Earn, PO Box 1970, Liverpool, L75 1WX.

This letter should state:

  • I have been taxed on the Election work carried out for Electoral Services. My National Insurance Number is….and I have enclosed a copy of my payslip for your information.
  • I confirm that the work was for an election, which is a one off employment during this tax year.
  • I can confirm that this was my only employment and I will not be taking up any further employment in this tax year.
  • I have not, nor will be given a P45 as I will remain on their election payroll as an election employee ready for elections taking place next year.

Electoral Shared Services employee tax reference number is 064/H1285EL and their tax accounts office reference number is 064PR00166053.

Why has my payment gone into the incorrect bank account?

All of our records are up to date as of May 2021. Our staff appointment form asked you to tick if we held your correct bank details. If you ticked no then an additional form would have been sent to you for completion and your details subsequently updated.

We cannot update your bank details unless you make us aware that they have changed and provide us with the details. If you have a re-direction on your old account then payroll should automatically transfer it to the new account. You may need to contact them to make them aware of the situation at employeeservices@hoopleltd.co.uk

How do I update my address, email or contact information?

Please email elections@herefordshire.gov.uk providing us with your full name and change of information. We can then update our records and the payroll system. If you were previously a Herefordshire Council employee, please ensure that you have given us your home contact information.

How do I change my bank details for future elections?

Please email elections@herefordshire.gov.uk and we will send you a 'bank details' form to complete. We can then update our records and the payroll system.

I have forgotten my username/password to access my payslip

You will need to contact employee services at employeeservices@hoopleltd.co.uk stating your full name and that you have forgotten your username/password.

How do I access my P60?

Your P60 is available on your Epay dashboard - the same place you access your elections pay slips. If you are unable to access it then you will need to contact employee services at employeeservices@hoopleltd.co.uk providing them with your full name, address and email address. They will be able to forward your P60 to you.

Pension scheme

All employers are now required by law to provide a workplace pension scheme for certain staff and pay money into it.

We must enrol any of our staff who meet all of the following criteria:

  • You earn over £192 per week (or £833 per month)
  • You are aged 22 or over and
  • You are under state pension age

If you don’t meet the criteria, you won’t become a member of the scheme automatically, but if in the future you do, we will enrol you into the scheme and let you know.

If you don’t meet the criteria you can also ask to join the scheme now or in the future.

If you ask to join you will put money into the pension each month directly from your pay, and the government may also contribute through tax relief. If you earn over £112 a week (or £486 a month), when you ask to join, the minimum amount you will put into the scheme will be 1% of your earnings. We will also contribute to the pension on your behalf and our employer contribution would be 1 %. If you earn less than £112 a week when you ask to join we are not obliged to contribute.

We have chosen NEST as our workplace pension scheme. You can find further details at www.nestpensions.org.uk

To join the scheme, now or in the future, tell us in writing by sending a letter which has to be signed by you. Or if you send us an email, please include the phrase, ‘I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme.’