What attributes are needed to be an independent scrutineer for trade union ballots?

 

Following its visit to the 150th TUC Congress, UK Engage looks at some of the attributes required in order to be an independent scrutineer for trade union ballots.

Unions are required by law to appoint an independent scrutineer to oversee statutory ballots.  In order to act as independent scrutineers for trade union ballots, organisations must submit a comprehensive application to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Independent & Impartial:

An independent scrutineer for trade union ballots must be entirely impartial and independent.  To this end they must show that they have no affiliation with individual unions and observe the highest standards of probity, demonstrating professional neutrality. Trade union independent scrutineers are also duty bound to raise any problems and inappropriate conduct with a ballot.

Balloting Proficiency:

An independent scrutineer is appointed to ensure proper conduct; therefore, it must have extensive experience in scrutiny, along with knowledge of union law in order to do this effectively.  It must be competent in relation to security, data protection and confidentiality.

Manage Resource:

Once an election or ballot is called and the independent scrutineer is appointed, both parties are held to tight timescales.   Scrutineers undertaking this type of work need to ensure they have sufficient resource to meet each and every deadline, as they will be handling lots of elections at the same time.

Experienced Staff:

Knowledge of union law and legislation is crucial to trade union scrutiny.  It is therefore important that an independent scrutineer for trade union ballots employs staff that has the relevant knowledge or implements a training programme to ensure that all staff that work on trade union ballots are conversant and adequately trained to do so.

About UK Engage:

UK Engage is an approved independent scrutineer for trade union ballots.  We have overseen statutory and non-statutory elections for trade unions.  Operating since 2000, we have a strong heritage in scrutiny and the production of printed voting papers, which are distributed by post.  We have a fully qualified team of consultants, experts, and managers who are fully conversant with the law regarding trade union balloting.

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