As stated in its Equal Opportunities Employment Policy: 'the University confirms its commitment to develop, maintain and support a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities in employment within the University'. To assist in this the University will actively support job sharing where it is reasonable and practical to do so and where operational needs will not be adversely affected.
Definition of job share
A job share is defined as where 2 people are employed to share the duties and responsibilities of one full-time post on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, and the salary and leave entitlement is allocated on a pro-rata basis. The contract is held jointly and is conditional upon the offer of appointment being accepted by both the job share partners. The job share partners work under a normal contract of employment and are subject to the provisions of current employment legislation.
Aims and objectives
The University is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff regardless of the number of hours worked. In order to facilitate this the University may create working arrangements, in accordance with managerial interests, whereby it can widen its recruitment pool, retain the valuable skills of existing employees who no longer want to work full-time, and enable staff to retain career development opportunities whilst working fewer hours.
Job share arrangements
- A job share is where 2 people voluntarily share the duties and responsibilities of one full-time post, dividing the hours between them and the full-time salary and holiday entitlement are allocated on a pro-rata basis to each of the job sharers.
Guidance on job share arrangements can be sought from Human Resources when a post becomes vacant, or when a request to job share is received from an existing full-time employee.
All full-time posts are deemed to be potentially open to job sharing. However, the University in the accordance with managerial interests, reserves the right to ensure that operational needs will not be adversely affected. Agreement to a job being shared should not be unreasonably withheld. When new and replacement posts become available, the expectation is that the post will be open to job share and all posts will be advertised on this basis. However, should a department believe that the duties of the post are not suitable for a job share, the department will need to put a case to the Director of Human Resources stating the reasons why the position is not appropriate for a job share.
- The way in which the actual hours of a job share post are divided between the job share partners should be decided by the manager/supervisor and/or Head of Department in consultation with the job share partners, taking into account the following:
- the needs of the service, section and/or department,
- any limitations on accommodation, equipment etc,
- the desirability of building in a handover period or liaison time (the total hours worked by the job share partners should not exceed the normal full-time hours of the post),
- communication: between the job share partners, between the job share partners and their manager(s), between the job share partners and their colleagues and between the job share partners and their students/clients/customers etc
- the need to ensure consistency of approach.
Advice and guidance is available from Human Resources.
- The overall duties and responsibilities of the whole post will be shared between the job share partners. The exact agreed working arrangements of the job share partners will be decided by the line manager and/or Head of Department. Advice on the implementation of job share arrangements are available from Human Resources.
Recruitment and selection
When recruiting for a post the normal approach of appointing the person (or job share partners) whose skills profile is the closest match to the specification of attributes has to be adhered to.
- When a joint application is received from job share partners, it must be assessed in the same manner as applications from other candidates. The normal practice will be to interview and test the job share partners separately in order to assess each one against the specification of attributes. It may also be appropriate to interview the job share candidates together in order to discuss their joint application. Selection panels should be aware that an offer made to job share partners is dependent upon both partners accepting the offer of employment.
- Should an application be received from an individual who wants to job share but does not have a job share partner, the recruiting department should, if at all possible, try to match two applicants who have applied individually but who both wish to job share.
Current full-time employees
There may be occasions when a current employee who is employed on a full-time basis wishes to reduce his/her hours of work by sharing his/her post. Such applications to convert a full-time post to a job share post should be carefully considered. (Examples of possible circumstances are employees returning from maternity, paternity or adoptive leave, employees having to care for elderly relatives, employees who may, due to a disability, now wish to work on a part-time basis, or employees who may wish to spend more time on leisure interests.) The legal rights of women returning from maternity leave should be recognised. If the line manager or Head of Department believes that the post is not suitable for a job share, the Director of Human Resources (or nominee) should be consulted. The applicant must be kept informed of progress and a consultation process would take place.
Advice on the implementation of job share arrangements
Hours of work - The way in which the full-time hours are divided between the job share partners will be at the discretion of the line manager and/or Head of Department to ensure that operational needs are met. However, examples of how the working week can be divided are as follows:
- Half or split days, i.e. one partner working in the morning and the other partner working in the afternoon.
- Half or split weeks i.e. one partner working the first 2.5 days (Monday to Wednesday morning) and the other partner working the remaining 2.5 days (Wednesday afternoon to Friday).
- Two days one week and three days the next i.e. with the job sharers alternating to work the extra day.
- Alternate weeks i.e. job share partners each work one on week on, one week off. Normally this is on a Wednesday pm to Wednesday am basis.
This is not an exhaustive list but merely outlines a few examples. Ideally the job share partners should work half-time. Sometimes it may be convenient to split the hours on an unequal basis i.e. one partner working 2 days and the other partner working 3 days.
Terms and conditions of job share posts
A joint contract is offered to the job share partners. The offer to one candidate of the job share partnership is conditional upon the other candidate of the job share partnership accepting it. The contract will state:
- the postholder's job title
- to which days and hours the job share relates, e.g. mornings/afternoon or 2.5 days per week each, actual hours of work to be determined by the line manager
- the basis on which the job share partners work e.g. 50:50 each week or if the job share is held on the basis of working one week on and one week off
- if the job share partners do not work on a 50:50 basis each, how the actual working hours are divided e.g.40:60
- salary will be paid on a pro-rata basis. Note that any additional hours worked by a job share partner will be paid at single time until the hours worked are in excess of normal full-time hours for the relevant staff group and in normal circumstances the expectation is that the total hours worked by the job share partners will not be more than those of full-time staff
- grade and scale - although job share partners will be on the same grade, differences in levels of experience and/or previous employment may justify paying the job share partners on different incremental points on the same scale
- annual holidays - the holiday entitlement will apply on a pro-rata basis
- public, statutory and customary holidays will be shared between the job share partners on a pro-rata basis
- job share partners are entitled to the normal provision of sickness payment and have to follow the same reporting procedures as all employees
- the posts of job share partners are superannuable. Further information is available from Payroll and Pensions Office
- employees who work as job share partners are entitled to the normal maternity benefits on a pro-rata basis over the same length of maternity leave as a full-time member of staff.
- Role Review
Where a role has changed, job share partners may apply for their role to be considered for review in line with the Role Review Procedure.
If one job share partner leaves and the remaining job share partner does not want to work full-time, the following procedure should be followed:
- an assessment of the needs of the organisation/department should be carried out to ascertain whether full-time coverage is required,
- the vacant half of the job share post should be advertised,
- if a suitable job share partner cannot be found, a University-wide search for alternative work should be implemented for the remaining job share partner, and
- if all the above has been carried out and it is still not possible to either find a replacement job share partner or find the remaining job share partner a suitable alternative post, the only option open to the University will be to declare the remaining job share partner redundant.
Where a system of flexible working hours is in operation the application of the system to a job share arrangement will be discussed between the line manager and/or Head of Department and the job share partners and agreed in advance.
It is usual to have a handover/changeover period, included in the working pattern. The details of the handover period will vary from post to post and working pattern.
- University of Bradford, Job Share Policy Statement
- Essential Facts Employment (March 1997), Gee
- Last reviewed: 30 April 2014