Job sharing is defined as the voluntary sharing between two individuals of the responsibilities of one full time job. Salary, holidays and other benefits are divided between the job sharers according to the number of hours worked.
Job sharing may be initiated by two individuals wanting to share one position, by one individual requesting to job share, or by the organisation advertising a position as open to job share.
A post may be shared by two persons (e.g. on a split-day or split-week basis, alternate weeks, alternate days), giving each employee a pro-rata share of the full time hours of the post. Both partners should be suitably qualified in terms of skills and abilities to undertake the range of tasks and responsibilities of the full time post.
The working arrangements and responsibilities of any particular job will be determined by the Line Manager, in consultation with the job sharers.
To allow advertising, interviewing and appointment procedures to be followed, applications to job share should normally be submitted not later than 14 weeks before the proposed ‘sharing’ date.
Where only one employee requests to job share the remaining part of the job will be advertised. If no suitable applicant is forthcoming, the line manager may reject the job share request.
Before a request to job share is formally agreed, the line manager and the potential job sharers should carefully consider the following:
- How will the hours be arranged?
- Does the job need to be covered every day and within set times?
- Is the creation of an overlap period desirable?
- What office accommodation is provided and is there sufficient space for both partners to work together?
- What about equipment and access to other resources?
- How is sickness absence dealt with?
- How is training organised?
The applicant may be able to make suggestions about how to overcome potential problems.
4.1 Each partner to a job share will hold an individual contract of employment; the job title will be that given to the established post. The job description issued will be that prepared for the established post, with an addendum to reflect agreements reached concerning working arrangements (how responsibilities will be divided), and indicating that the full duties and responsibilities of the post will be undertaken.
4.2 Any job evaluation review will apply to the whole post including the need for close co-operation between sharers.
4.3 The normal hours of duty of a job sharer will be a pro-rata share of those of the full time post, as directed by the appropriate line manager.
4.4 The two job sharers have a joint responsibility to carry out the full time requirements of the job description. They are required to divide responsibilities by task and/or time in consultation with their manager. However, job sharers are individually responsible for their actions on duty; they will be assessed separately under the performance and personal development review and held individually accountable under the disciplinary and capability policies.
4.5 Where continuity is considered by the line manager to be an essential requirement of a specific job share, both employees will be required to overlap their hours of work or arrange to meet at a specific work time during the week. In some cases a brief handover will suffice whilst in others a longer overlap period is desired. Work files, diaries, bring forward files and other organisational techniques should be considered. Job sharers will normally be expected to cover the whole position during annual leave and absence for other reasons. However it is the manager's prerogative who should cover the absence within budget. Consideration must be given to personal circumstances.
4.6 When it is not financially viable for both parties to attend a training event, job sharers are obliged to share information and skills with their job share partner. When training takes place on a day on which one of the job sharers would not normally work, time off in lieu should be offered.
In the event of one job sharer ceasing to continue in the job sharing partnership, the hours of work previously undertaken by that person may be offered to the remaining job sharer on a full time basis.
If full time working is not acceptable to the remaining job sharer, the vacant shared post will be advertised. If no suitable job sharing partner can be found within a reasonable period (which shall be not less than three months from the last day of service of the previous job sharer), alternative arrangements for covering the job should be considered. This may involve the post becoming full time and the redeployment of the remaining sharer to a suitable available alternative post.