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SAMPLE JOB SHARE POLICY

The following can be used as a template for your organization if you are considering implementation of job sharing as a powerful recruitment and retention tool.  Consider the specifics of your own organization and follow the normal review protocols used for implementation of a new policy to ensure that it meets your organizational needs and complies with all current internal policy and external legislation.

1.  Policy Statement

As stated in its Policy on Equal Opportunities: 'the Organization confirms its commitment to develop, maintain and support a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities in employment within the Organization'. To assist in this the Organization will actively support job sharing where it is reasonable and practical to do so and where operational needs will not be adversely affected.

2. 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 position on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, and the salary and leave is allocated on a pro-rata basis. The position is held jointly and is conditional upon the offer of employment being accepted by both the job share partners.

3.  Aims and Objectives

The Organization is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff regardless of the number of hours worked. In order to facilitate this the Organization 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 while working fewer hours.

4. Job Share Arrangements

a. A job share is where 2 people voluntarily share the duties and responsibilities of one full-time position, dividing the hours between them. The full-time salary and holiday/leave time are allocated on a pro-rata basis to each of the job sharers.

Guidance on job share arrangements can be sought from the Human Resource Office when a position becomes vacant, or when a request to job share is received from an existing full-time employee.

All full-time positions are deemed to be potentially open to job sharing. However, the Organization 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.

b. The way in which the actual hours of a job share position are divided between the job share partners should be decided by the manager/supervisor in consultation with the job share partners, taking into account the following:

i. the needs of the service, section and/or department,

ii. any limitations on accommodation, equipment etc.,

iii.  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),

iv.  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 customers, the need to ensure consistency of approach.

c.  The overall duties and responsibilities of the whole position will be shared between the job share partners. The exact agreed upon working arrangements of the job share partners will be decided by the manager.

5.  Recruitment and Selection

When recruiting for a position the normal approach of selecting the candidate (or job share partners) whose skills profile is the closest match to job requirements will be adhered to.

When a joint resume 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 job requirements. It may also be appropriate to interview the job share candidates together in order to discuss their joint application. An offer made to job share partners is dependent upon both partners accepting the offer of employment.

6.  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 position. Such applications to convert a full-time position to a job share position 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.)

7.  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 manager 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 week on, one week off. This normally 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.

8.  Terms and Conditions of Job Share Positions

A position is offered jointly 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.

9.  Resignation

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:

    1. an assessment of the needs of the organization should be carried out to ascertain whether full-time coverage is required,

    2. the vacant half of the job share position should be advertised

    3. the remaining job share partner should use any available contacts to assist in finding a partner,

    4. if a suitable job partner cannot be found, an organization-wide search for alternative work should be implemented for the remaining job share partner

    5. 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 position, the remaining partner will voluntarily terminate.

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