(Updated October 2014)
Swansea University encourages the principle of job sharing, where this is possible, at all levels in the University. It recognises that the option of job sharing allows equality of opportunity to individuals who, for whatever reason cannot work full time. The University also recognises that job sharing represents a flexible and innovative approach to the recruitment and retention of staff and may be the only option if an employee wants to work part time but the Department/School requires a full time position.
Job sharing is an arrangement whereby two (or more) employees divide the duties and responsibilities of one full time post and the salary and benefits are divided between them according to the amount of time they each work. Both partners take joint responsibility for the whole job.
In practice, this means that when Heads of Departments and Schools agree a full time posts is suitable for job sharing it should be advertised as a full time position, and the advert and details of the post will include the phrase "job share applicants are welcome to apply". Full time posts should not, however, be advertised as suitable only for job sharing as such an arrangement would exclude those who wish to work full time.
Similarly, Heads of Departments/Schools may agree to full time staff in post requesting to share their post where such a request is made voluntarily.
Many posts in the University may well be suitable for job share arrangements. It is the intention of the Human Resources Department to advertise all vacancies on a job share basis unless the Head of Department/School can show why this would not be practical. Any refusal to consider a job share arrangement must be justified objectively by the Head of Department/School.
Job Share Opportunities
a) Vacant Posts
When it has been agreed that a vacancy will be considered on a job share basis, the following procedure should apply:
The phrase (This is a full time post but applications from individuals seeking part time, job share or flexible working arrangements are welcome) will appear in the advert and in the Job Description or Further Particulars of the vacancy. Applicants will be asked on the application form to indicate whether they would like to apply on a full time or job share basis. All candidates must be considered against the job description and person specification in the first instance.
Members of a shortlisting panel should compare all applicants against the criteria for the post and select the best candidates to attend an interview. The fact that an applicant would like to work on a job share basis should not be considered at the shortlisting stage.
The selection of job share applications will be carried out in accordance with current recruitment practices. At this stage, each shortlisted candidate will be interviewed separately.
In determining the suitability of a job share partnership, the selection panel must be satisfied that the proposed pattern of working meets the demands of the post.
In the event of only one job share applicant being considered appropriate for the post the selection panel must decide whether a full time appointment or a job share arrangement would be most appropriate. If the best person for the job is the single job sharer then the Department/School may need to advertise again for a job share vacancy.
Offer of appointment
If two (or more) applicants are appointed to the post they should each have the same terms and conditions of employment. Benefits such as pay, annual leave and bank holiday entitlement should be allocated on a pro rata basis depending on the hours worked.
Two applicants may make a joint or linked application for a vacant position. These applicants should be considered as a partnership. If, at the shortlisting stage, one half of a joint application is rejected, the successful half should be given the option of continuing to the interview stage or withdrawing their application. Similarly, if one half of a joint application proves unsuccessful at the final selection stage, he/she should be rejected. The remaining partner should be offered the option of being considered either on a full time basis or to work with another job share partner.
b) Existing Post holders
An existing full time employee may formally apply to their Head of Department/School for a job share arrangement to be agreed in respect of their post. Where the Head of Department/School agrees to the request, a request should be submitted to the Senior Management Team to advertise for the other half of the post. If this request is successful, the post should be advertised as a part time position specifying the available hours. If the Head of Department/School does not agree to the post being worked on a job share basis then they should provide an objective reason for this decision.
Only when a suitable candidate is appointed will the existing employee be able to commence job sharing.
In certain instances existing employees may make a joint application to share either of the posts held by them. In this case one full time vacancy will become available. This would need to be considered by the Cost Centre Working Group and if agreed advertised as a full time/job share vacancy.
The resignation of one job share partner
If one partner in a job share arrangement leaves, the post will be offered as a full time post to the remaining job sharer in the first instance. If the remaining partner does not wish to work full time, the single job share post will be advertised. The remaining job sharer may be offered extra hours temporarily, but is not compelled to take them.
If another suitable job share partner cannot be found and it is necessary to for the post to be filled for the whole of the full time hours, the remaining job share partner will, wherever possible, be redeployed to another post, with the same, or similar, hours of work.
Only in exceptional circumstances, when all the above options have been exhausted, will the termination of the existing job sharer's employment be considered. This possibility should be explained fully to anyone considering or taking up a job share appointment.
Reasons for refusing a job share arrangement
The University can refuse a request for a job share arrangement if the Head of Department/School considers that the proposed changes would lead to one of the following:
- Additional costs to the Department/School
- Detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand
- Inability to reorganise the work among existing staff
- Inability to recruit additional staff
- Detrimental impact on quality
- Detrimental impact on the performance of the Department/School
- Insufficiency of work at the proposed times of work
- Planned structural changes within the Department/School
This is similar to job share but is more like two part time posts covering a full time post. A job split comes about mainly when a full time employee requests reducing their hours or to work on a job share basis. The split occurs if the job can be broken down into two separate roles, either at the same or different grades. For example a full time Administrative Officer may ask to go part time. The remaining part of his or her job could be advertised as a job share or the job could be broken down into clear administrative roles as well as less demanding clerical roles. Instead of advertising for the same grade post on a job share basis, the University could advertise for a lower grade job, possibly for more hours than that which is left by the postholder. The salary would not necessarily be the same.
If job sharing is arranged it is recommended that a review period be introduced to enable the Head of Department/School to establish whether this is working satisfactorily. At least 3 months should be allowed before the review to provide sufficient time for the job sharers to demonstrate that the arrangement works and to smooth out any issues which may have arisen, such as communication.
Terms and Conditions of Appointment for job share employees
Job share employees should not be treated less favourably than full time employees under the Part time Workers (Prevention of less favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.
- Each job share partner will have a separate Contract of Employment. The post holders' job share title will be that given to the full time job with the endorsement - Job Share, for example Part time Lecturer - job share. Each job sharer will be allocated to the same position on the University establishment.
- Job sharers will be paid pro-rata to the full time rate for the number of hours worked. Commencing salary and increments where applicable will be determined in accordance with normal practice. Individual job sharers may be paid at different rates within the same salary scales to reflect different levels of experience, skills and abilities.
- The hours to be worked will be individually stated in each partner's contract. Total hours will not exceed the hours for the full time post.
- The work may be divided in a number of ways (e.g. with each partner working mornings/afternoons only or a combination of working days split between the two partners, etc.) Job sharers and Heads of Departments/Schools should agree a working pattern at the outset.
- It may be necessary within a working pattern that job sharers have a period of 'overlap' on a regular basis. When this is necessary, it should be part of the established pattern of work and will be contained within the working week.
- Job sharers will receive the standard pro rata annual leave provisions according to the agreed arrangements for that particular staff group. Where job sharers work different days of the week, statutory holidays and closure days will be shared equally between them. All arrangements for annual leave and bank holiday leave should be agreed at the outset.
- Job sharers will automatically be eligible for membership of the appropriate Superannuation Scheme and will make contributions and receive benefits on a pro rata basis.
- Job sharers will be entitled to maternity/paternity leave where appropriate in accordance with the usual University provision. Payment during maternity leave will be pro-rata to the full time contracted hours.
- All rights which are available to full time staff for training opportunities will apply to job sharers.
- Job sharers will be considered for promotion in the same way as full time and other part-time employees.
Guidelines for job sharing employees
- Each partner is responsible for the whole job.
- Each partner should communicate effectively with the other particularly if an overlap in work time is not provided. Clear messages should be left on work which has not been completed.
- Communication within the Department/School is important. Contacts need to be aware that another individual may pick up a task or deal with their enquiry.
- No partner is senior to the other therefore there should be no delegation or leaving the undesirable jobs such as filing to the other partner
- If a problem occurs both partners should take responsibility. There should be no blame passed between job sharers.
- If one job sharer is performing less well than the other, this should be addressed as soon as possible by the Head of Department/School and the weaker performer be supported by the normal university procedures.
- If job sharers are on fixed term contracts, both must be consulted and an alternative job share post be sought. In the situation where only a part time position is available, there should be a competitive interview to assess who is the most suitable to meet the requirements of the part time post.