Are zero-hours employers committing electoral fraud?

[Image: BBC]

[Image: BBC]

It seems there are rumours doing the rounds that employers who use zero-hours contracts are threatening their workforce with the loss of their jobs if they don’t vote Conservative.

Whether or not there is any truth in the claim, employees everywhere should be reminded that intimidation of this kind is electoral fraud – and that is a criminal offence.

This writer has also been told that, historically, tenants who rented housing here in Mid Wales used to be threatened with eviction if they did not vote for the landlords’ choice of candidate. This is also electoral fraud.

The Electoral Commission advises that “If you have evidence that electoral offence has been committed you should contact the police immediately. You should be prepared to give them a statement and substantiate your allegation.”

Further information is available on the electoral commission’s website:

You can also contact the Returning Officer in your constituency. This is usually the chief executive of your local authority.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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21 thoughts on “Are zero-hours employers committing electoral fraud?

  1. NMac

    Let us hope that if this sort of criminal activity is going on, and I personally would put nothing past some nasty party supporters, then let’s hope such incidents are reported and the culprits publicly named.

  2. peter

    how would the employer know? it is a secret ballot. the returning officer would surely be in trouble if names emerged .

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m told there are plenty of ways. Let’s just discourage the possibility altogether.

      1. Tony Dean

        Mike I suggest you do not listen to such scandalmongering.
        It really is not worthy of you.

      2. joanna may

        I Knew it!!! I Knew the despicable bag of s***e would use his son!!!! He is totally without any scruples or morals!!! If they get in again I will definitely lose the will to live, I don’t have any family anyway, so thankfully no-one to miss me!!!

  3. aturtle05

    I’m sorry, but as it is a secret ballot, the only way the employer would know is if he asked and could identify a lie. If anyone asks me how I voted my standard answer (especially with exit pollsters) is “I voted with my conscience”.

    If I was fired or evicted for voting any way other than the way my employer/landlord wanted, I would be straight off to the employment tribunal or court.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes, YOU would. Other people might not be as aware of their rights. And there are ways and means – the Electoral Commission could tell you about them, I’m sure, but I’m not going to reveal anything here.

      1. joanna may

        Thank you for that Mike you made me feel a lot better!!
        On the point aturtle05 made, wouldn’t it now cost a lot of money to actually go to an employment tribunal?

    2. Thomas

      Can you go to a tribunal when it costs over £1000, or go to court when the court fees have gone up by 600 times?

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        According to the Electoral Commission, first stop should be the police. They don’t cost anything at the point of use.

    3. Michele Witchy Eve

      Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to take such cases to an employment tribunal or court (especially when you’ve just lost your income). The tribunal alone would cost about £1,000 to bring under the new rules. No legal aid either, so start adding for representation. Then you’d have to have proof of the offence – any kind of proof. Unless, or course, you’re prepared to be permanently wired for sound and vision while at work. Nah, even being aware of your rights is not going to help much.

      A quick study of how “rotten boroughs” work (and why your vote may not be as secret as you think) will show that what is suggested may not be likely (we hope) but is perfectly possible.

  4. Lorfarius

    Really pathetic if this sort of thing is going on but wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Having said that just who would go to the police to complain? If the place can sack them over this they def would over voting. Maybe not a first but a few months down the line so the person suffers either way.

  5. Gazza

    Why am I not surprised at what the ConMen will do to get back in? Desperate times, desperate measures.
    May it bite them on the A$$.

  6. Paul Delaney

    Maybe the “plenty of ways” should be mentioned Mike, so that people can be made aware and that the ballot station staff can be on the lookout for anyone being coerced in any way mentioned..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Best not to mention the ways. Have a think about it and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

  7. argotina1

    Having been involved in the process of counting votes one year I really can’t see how the employer could find out who employees had voted for.

  8. Thomas

    A landlord might just say-if the MP I want does not get in, then you tenants will be asking your new MP to help you find a new place to live.

  9. aussieeh

    A few years ago I worked for an out and out Tory, who just happened to be the head rat of the local masons, nudge nudge wink wink. Not only did he begrudge paying wages he knew more about what I had done at the weekend than I did, especially if I ended up in the local nick, being the young tearaway I was. A lot older and wiser now. So depending on the employers standing in the community, I wouldn’t discount anything.

    A good Easter to you and Mrs Mike.Keep your chin up, not long to go now to FREEDOM

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