Appendix C – Job sharing guidance note

1. Definition

1.1 Job sharing involves two people voluntarily sharing the same full-time post with the same duties and responsibilities but with each job share ‘partner’ working reduced hours.

2. Working Patterns

2.1 The aim of job sharing is to provide flexibility for staff seeking an alternative working arrangement. The list below illustrates examples of current job sharing models. Working hours for each partner will be agreed to suit the needs of the function/organisation and will be decided by the line manager/supervisor. Often partners’ working time is split evenly to 0.5 FTE each, however, a number of options can be considered on a case by case basis, for example

  • a 0.4/0.6 FTE shared arrangement or any other division of the full-time hours that suits the needs of the function/organisation.
  • whole days split during the week (e.g. Mon – Tues/Wed – Fri) or split days into mornings and afternoons.
  • alternate weeks i.e. each partner has full weeks at work then the same amount of time off work. 
  • where the hours are split evenly, the working days may differ from one week to the next (e.g. in a 0.5 FTE split Mon – Tues /Wed – Fri week one alternating with Mon – Wed/Thurs – Fri week two).

2.2 When considering a job share it is also worth considering as an alternative if the role could be spilt into two part time roles with distinct duties. This may not be practical for some roles where a job sharing arrangement may be more suitable in the interests of consistency and continuity throughout the week.

3. Recruitment and Selection

3.1 Current staff in full-time employment may apply to reduce their working hours through a job share arrangement, subject to the recruitment of a suitable partner.

  • For a vacant post, where a job sharing arrangement is possible and is clearly stated in the job particulars, applications will be accepted from individual applicants. The Human Resources team will assist the recruiting work unit to match applicants who have applied individually.
  • Joint applications will also be accepted. Each applicant will be interviewed and assessed individually against the selection criteria as standard procedure and may also be interviewed together to assess the joint application. 
  • Each partner will be expected to fulfill the entire remit of the post’s duties and responsibilities. A post may not be split into separate duties and allocated to each partner. 

4. Terms and Conditions of Job Sharers’ Contracts

  • Partners will be placed on the same grade. However, it is possible for each partner to be on a different salary point, depending on length of service and/or experience. 
  • Job sharers’ salaries will be pro-rated on the basis of the number of hours worked.
  • Annual leave, public and other holiday entitlement will be pro-rated accordingly. 
  • Job share partners are entitled to the normal provision of sick pay and are required to comply with the same reporting procedures as all employees. 
  • Employees who work as job share partners are entitled to the normal sick pay, maternity / paternity benefits. These are provided on a pro rata basis to take account of part time hours worked. To be eligible each job share partner must satisfy the eligibility criteria outlined in the relevant policy in their own right. 
  • Job share partners are eligible for career development opportunities, training and development in line with all employees.

5. Applications

  • In the event that a suitable job share partner cannot be recruited to share with an existing full-time employee, existing arrangements will apply. A new application may not be submitted for 12 months. There will be no automatic entitlement to part-time working. 
  • Where joint applications are unsuccessful, each applicant will not be eligible to submit a new application for a period of 12 months from the date of the initial application.

6. Key Considerations

6.1 In assessing job sharing applications, the following should be considered:

6.2 Line Managers

  • The impact of how and when the duties are performed. 
  • Any limitation on accommodation, equipment, workstation arrangements, etc.
  • The type of handover required to ensure a continuous and professional delivery of work and/or service e.g. written; telephone call at an agreed time; a set time if there is a period of overlap.
  • Viability of the requested working pattern in line with the nature of the post. Job sharing may not be a viable option for certain types of job and it is important that line managers refer to the legitimate grounds for rejection of an application in paragraph 5.2 of the policy. Further guidance should be sought from your College/Service HRO/HRM in this regard. 
  • Attendance at team meetings and other critical School/Service events and meetings. 
  • If an overlap period is agreed, consideration should be given to appropriate work station arrangements.

6.3 Employees

  • Successful flexible working applications for job share will normally be considered to be a permanent change to an employee’s terms and conditions of employment. Approval of a job share application will be conditional upon the University being able to recruit a suitable job share partner for an existing employee. 
  • Attendance at team meetings and other critical events. Job sharers may, from time to time, be expected to attend on days that they would not normally work to allow participation in team meetings and other School/Service events. Line managers will be required to agree this in advance and allow an amended working pattern to accommodate this. 
  • In the event that one job share partner resigns from the post, the University will normally endeavor to fill the post on the existing basis. If the job share post is left unfilled, the remaining job share partner may be offered the post on a full-time basis. The University reserves the right to withdraw the job sharing arrangement should a suitable replacement not be found and the job share post remains vacant.