Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

Appointing staff for specific election processes

You will need to appoint staff to help you undertake the various election processes. You should identify staffing requirements and put processes in place for recruiting the necessary staff. You should have access to a database of staff used at previous elections to help with this, and should also get advice from the HR team at your council on any external recruitment needs you may have.

Staff can also often be recruited from among council employees. Local authorities can permit their staff to work on the election, but they are not required to do so.

When identifying and recruiting staff, you should consider the skills appropriate to each role and use these to create a suitable job description. For example, those with experience working in finance could be recruited for the recording of unused ballot papers at the verification and count, or to work at postal vote opening sessions to record the daily totals.

As there is no age restriction for staff working on specific election processes, you could liaise with local further and higher education establishments to identify young people who could be recruited to work at polling stations or at the verification and count, which could also help to boost their engagement with the democratic process.

You can find more information on the payment of fees to staff in our section on Accounting for the election.

Last updated: 19 December 2023