What are common job sharing arrangements, how to determine its suitability, and key implementation tips.
What Is Job Sharing
An arrangement that allows two or more part-time employees to share the responsibilities of one full-time employee. Responsibilities may be divided by function, geography, time, or workload.
Job sharing employees will usually work at different times during the day or week, or on alternate weeks. This arrangement may involve a time of overlap to maintain continuity. Pay, holidays and other benefits will usually be proportionate to the number of hours worked.
Why It Matters
Job sharing can help you to retain employees who may be seeking early retirement, by bridging the gap between a steady career job and retirement. Employees returning to work (e.g. women returning from maternity leave) or coping with other commitments (e.g. caring for elderly parents) are also likely to find this arrangement ideal.
In addition, job sharing allows for succession planning, especially if the job role is paired between a senior and junior employee, providing a good platform for the transfer and development of skills and knowledge.
As a recruitment and retention strategy, job sharing requires low cost to introduce and maintain.
What Are Common Job Sharing Arrangements
There are three basic types of job sharing arrangements:
Mix of Shared and Divided Responsibility
Most job sharing duties fall between the spectrum of shared responsibility and divided responsibility (e.g. employees have individual duties and shared duties).
Some common work patterns for 5-day workweeks include:
- Split days (e.g. mornings or afternoons)
- Split weeks (e.g. 2.5 consecutive days each)
- Alternating split weeks (e.g. 2 days on Weeks 1 and 3, and 3 days on Weeks 2 and 4)
- Alternate weeks (e.g. 5 consecutive days followed by the next week off)
How to Determine the Suitability of Job Sharing
In addition to the 4-step implementation model, you should:
- Complete our sample checklist on factors to consider before implementing job sharin (PDF), and meet with your HR team to decide on a job sharing strategy.
- Calculate the number of hours employees will work under your job sharing strategy. If the number of hours falls under the part-time work category, you must inform senior management of legal requirements and regulations for part-time employment.
- Provide employees with a list of issues to consider when applying for a job sharing arrangement (PDF).
If the barriers to job sharing cannot be resolved, you may consider other types of flexible work arrangements.