Frequently asked questions

Updated: 10 June 2020

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Pay and conditions

What terms and conditions apply to my employment?

The terms and conditions for temporary staff employed by the AEC during federal elections, by-elections, plebiscites and referendums are set out in the Collective Determination.

How long will I work?

On election day

Most election staff, working on election day are required to start around 7am, and finish no later than 11pm, when all required duties are complete in the polling place (including the counting of ballot papers). It is a dynamic and fast paced work environment, which can be a mentally and physically demanding experience for some.

Before or after election day

For those, who are employed to work before or after election day, the ordinary work hours are 7am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday. The length of the shift worked during these hours will vary but is generally not longer than 7.5 hours (plus breaks).

A minimum shift length that the AEC guarantees during the election is:

  • 1 hour for a day on which the employee is required to undertake training
  • 3 hours on any day, where the employee is required to perform duties.

As election staff are employed on a casual basis, the AEC will offer employment as and when required by the AEC. The AEC does not guarantee a minimum or maximum number of hours or shifts throughout the course of your temporary employment.

How much will I be paid?

If you are employed to work:

  • on election day only - you will receive a set remuneration package according to your position that covers all hours you work for a full day, allowances and any mandatory training required for your role (between $400 and $1000, depending on the role)
  • before or after election day - you will be paid at the hourly rate assigned to your position, including 25 per cent casual loading (between $23.65 and $28.79 per hour, depending on the role).

These hourly rates and remuneration packages are reviewed in the lead up to each federal electoral event, and once confirmed are set out in the Collective Determination made by the Electoral Commissioner under section 35(3) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

When and how will I be paid?

If you are employed to work on election day only, you can expect to be paid on Thursday 19 days later.

For work on other days, your pay week is from Thursday to Wednesday and will be paid to you on Thursday the following week.

You will be paid by electronic funds transfer to the nominated bank account you entered in AEC Employment.

Am I entitled to receive overtime?

If you are employed to work during the election period you may be entitled to overtime as per the conditions set out in Part D of the Collective Determination.

Please note that employees are paid a 25% casual loading in lieu of all paid leave, and that no casual loading will be paid for any hours for which an employee is paid at overtime rates.

Will election work affect my Centrelink payment?

For advice on how payments for temporary election work may affect any government benefits you receive, please contact the Department of Human Services.

Will I have to pay tax on my earnings?

Yes. The exact amount of tax required to be paid for temporary employment with the AEC will depend on your individual financial circumstances.

Please note, if you wish to apply for the Senior Australians tax offset, you need to complete a tax variation form in addition to your tax file number declaration form.

To get a sense of the amount of tax required by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with and without a tax-free threshold, please refer to the weekly tax table on the ATO website.

Will I receive a superannuation contribution?

A temporary employee is eligible for superannuation once earnings reach $450.00 within a calendar month. Superannuation is calculated on gross ordinary time earnings for that calendar month. Overtime and allowances are not included in superannuation calculations.

Superannuation funds are deposited quarterly with an APRA compliant nominated fund.

The AEC will pay employer superannuation contributions equivalent to the Superannuation Guarantee Contribution rate (currently 9.5% of the employee's ordinary time earnings).

Do I need to complete a timesheet?

If you are employed to work on election day only you are not required to fill in a timesheet.

If you are employed to work at other times during the election period, you are required to ensure your start and finish times (and any breaks) are accurately recorded on a timesheet.

Your supervisor will advise you about the timesheet requirements.

When does my employment end?

Each period of casual employment terminates automatically at the end of the employment period detailed in section 1 of your Offer of Casual Employment letter. If you are employed to work on election day only, your employment will cease following the completion of duties on election day.

The AEC may terminate your employment immediately without notice, with or without cause. In all circumstances, regardless of whether notice is provided, the AEC will only pay you up to the end of your last period of casual employment, and you will not be entitled to payment in lieu of notice.

When will I receive a payment summary from the AEC?

All temporary election staff will receive a payment summary after June 30 of the financial year in which you were employed.


Can I choose when and where I work?

Yes. As part of the Registration of Interest process in AEC Employment you will be asked to nominate up to ten preferred locations and period of employment (e.g. before, on or after election day ). As part of this process you can also nominate for a specific temporary position, but the AEC does not guarantee you will be offered your nominated position or location.

Do I have to be an Australian citizen to work during elections?

Yes. You must be an Australian citizen to work for the AEC at an election.

What are the rules about political neutrality while employed?

The AEC operates in a politically sensitive environment. Any individual who is, or is seen to be active in political affairs, and intends to publicly carry on this activity, may compromise the strict political neutrality of the AEC. If you do not adhere to the standard of political neutrality, your employment may be terminated.

What are the rules about using social media while employed?

The AEC Social Media Policy for temporary employees (including election staff) provides guidance, procedures and protocols for using social media.

Are there age limits to working with the AEC?

You must be over the age of 18 to be employed on election day. In all other cases, where the person under the age of 18 wishes to work with the AEC before or after election day, the relevant state or territory's minimum age for employment laws apply.

There are no upper age limits to working with the AEC, and we proudly employ thousands of older Australians at each event.

I've received a redundancy from the public service, can I still work at elections?


If I have a condition or disability – can I still work?

Elections are large scale logistical events conducted in a high profile, legal and time-dependent environment. The AEC promotes equal employment opportunities for all and follows an employment policy to ensure recruitment is based on merit. Our focus is to provide these employment opportunities to individuals within their local community with suitable skill set to service that community.

During the Registration of Interest (ROI) you will be asked to indicate if you have a disability. If so, please specify in “Further information” section whether reasonable adjustment to the workplace is required. Applicants should complete these sections as applicable and the AEC may contact you to discuss your situation further.

If you have low vision or difficulty completing your ROI online, please contact the AEC on 13 23 26 for assistance.

Does the AEC offer assistance for Indigenous applicants?

The AEC is committed to creating a workforce that reflects the cultural diversity of the communities we serve, and to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage in electoral participation.

Staff from the AEC's Indigenous and Community Engagement Team are available to assist Indigenous applicants with information on available jobs, working conditions and preparing and submitting an application.

Will I receive a meal?

You will have access to drinking water at your AEC work location, but other food and drinks are not supplied. Also be aware you might not be based near a shop or café – so make sure you bring enough food and drink to see you through your shift.

What should I bring?

In addition to food and drink, you should bring any medication you are prescribed or require. You should also consider bringing a torch to move safely to and from the venue, as the AEC cannot guarantee sufficient external lighting at each venue.

What should I wear?

The AEC does not have a specific dress code for temporary election staff, but you are expected to exercise common sense and wear practical and non-offensive clothing (examples of impractical or inappropriate clothing includes singlets, thongs, or t-shirts with offensive or political images or messages).

You are also strongly encouraged to wear flat, practical and supportive footwear, and to consider the weather conditions and venue when choosing what you'll wear.

What if I can't work on the day?

If you find yourself unable to work for any reason, please contact your divisional office using the contact details provided at the bottom of your Offer of Casual Employment letter as soon as possible. If you don't have those contact details at hand, please call 13 23 26.

Character Checks

In preparation for an electoral event, the AEC conducts an employment pre-screening process (inclusive of a police check) of election employees offered positions that hold particular responsibilities or access to sensitive information (known as identified roles). In addition, the AEC will also validate and assess the criminal history of employees that declare a conviction, regardless of their role. The AEC currently uses Equifax, an authorised agent of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), for the processing of these police checks through their Fit2Work secure online portal.

What are the identified roles?

  • Early Voting Liaison Officer
  • Electoral Visitor
  • Electoral Visitor in Charge
  • Issuing Officer Interstate Voting Centre
  • Issuing Officer PPVC (Pre Election Day)
  • All Officers-in-Charge (OIC’s)
  • OIC Interstate Voting Centre
  • OIC PPVC (Pre Election Day)
  • Polling Place Liaison Officer
  • Pre Poll 2IC
  • Remote Mobile Polling Assistant
  • Remote Mobile Assistant Team Leader
  • Remote Mobile Team Leader
  • Remote Mobile Team Member
  • Second in Charge
  • Scrutiny Assistant (Return of Materials)
  • Temporary Assistant Level 2

How to complete the Police Check Consent form?

  1. Log in to the Equifax Fit2Work secure portal using the link and details Fit2Work sent to you via email or SMS.
  2. Give your consent to the check being conducted.
  3. Complete your personal details including your previous addresses for the past 5 years.
  4. Upload copies of your identity documents and a photo of yourself holding you photo ID in a 'selfie' format to meet the Minimum Proof of Identity Requirement.
  5. Click 'Submit' at the end of the form

When do I need to complete this police check online consent form?

As soon as you’ve received your login details from Fit2Work, please log in to the Fit2Work secure portal and complete your police check online consent form. The AEC cannot approve your role until your check result is returned.

What information do I need to complete the online consent form?

From 1 July 2018 a new Minimum Proof of Identity Requirement has been introduced by the ACIC.

  1. You will first need your login details. Equifax Fit2Work will send these details to you in an email or by SMS. Please email including AEC in the subject line to request your login details again if you haven't received the email or SMS.
  2. You will need to provide your details along with your previous addresses for the last 5 years.
  3. You will then need to provide proof of your identity. To confirm your identity, you must provide 4 documents from 3 categories, as below:

    ONE Commencement of ID Document
    ONE Primary Use in the Community Document
    TWO Secondary Use in the Community Documents

    You will be provided with the list of identity documents that you can provide to meet the requirements once you log into the Fit2Work secure portal.
  4. Lastly, you will need to upload a photo of yourself holding one form of your photo ID in a 'selfie' format. Please check our Photo Guide to help you meet this requirement.

How long does it take to process a police check?

On average your police check will take around five business days. However, if there are any missing details or if you have lived in a regional and/or multiple regional areas the check may take longer. If there is any missing or improperly uploaded information, Fit2Work will contact you by email and SMS.

What will a police check contain?

A criminal background check will contain any findings of guilt unless it is spent. Each state has different legislation regarding the type of finding and amount of time which defines spent findings. Please refer to the links below for each state:

New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
Western Australia

I have completed my consent form, but why am I still receiving reminders?

If you have completed all consent forms and have uploaded the required documents and are still receiving reminders after 48 hours, please contact Fit2Work on 1300 536 718 or email for assistance.

How does Equifax Fit2Work use, manage and store my information?

Equifax Fit2Work has the highest levels of security. Security measures include:

  • Your information is collected only and specifically for a police check, nothing else.
  • Candidates log in to a secure online portal protected by a firewall and 24/7 security monitoring.
  • Data entered into the online portal is encrypted to maintain privacy and protect against information loss, misuse, modification or unauthorised access.

Data is expunged in accordance with the rules of the National Police Checking Service as well as Data & Privacy Regulations in Australia.

How does Equifax Fit2Work process my Police Record?

Once your ID is validated and consent form received, your details are then checked against databases held by the Australian police authority through the National Police Checking Service (NPCS) which is a division of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). If you have a criminal history, a ‘record’ is returned to Equifax Fit2Work from the police check. This ‘record’ explains any findings of criminal guilt.

How long will Equifax Fit2Work keep my information for?

Your police record data will be destroyed after 12 months as per the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) terms of service. Your non police data will automatically be destroyed after 7 years.


What training do I need to complete?

All temporary election staff are required to undertake some form of training. Your Offer of Casual Employment letter includes the details of the role and required training. Depending on the role this could be home-based online training, group-based face-to-face or on the job briefing.

You must complete the required training before commencing work.

How do I access my online training?

Polling staff can access online training through AEC Employment. If you are required to complete online training, you will be notified via email or text within 3 hours of you receiving your Confirmation of Casual Employment letter.

Once you access your online training via AEC Employment, the specific training modules you are required to complete will be available on the landing page, My Learning.

Does the training have to be completed online?

If you are required to undertake online training it must be completed through AEC Employment.
Face-to-face training will be held at a designated training venue.

I have worked at previous elections, do I still need to complete the training?

The training is a great way for you to be familiar with any changes made since the last federal election. Even if you have worked at previous electoral events you will have to complete the required training.

I'm having problems accessing my training – who do I contact?

For any problems accessing your online training please contact the ETP Helpdesk via:

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