Reporter 423, 21 September 1998
The University of Leeds endorses the principle of job sharing. It recognises that the option of job sharing opens up a range of career opportunities to those who, out of choice or necessity, cannot work full time. It also recognises that job sharing represents a flexible and innovative response to the management of human resources.
Job sharing is an arrangement whereby two people choose to share one full time job and the salary and benefits are divided between them according to the amount of time they each work. Each person's terms are equivalent to those of a full time member of staff, though pro-rata.
In practice, this means that Appointing Committees/Departmental Committees/Heads of Resource Centres/Heads of Departments may offer full time posts as suitable for job sharing. Full time posts may not, however, be advertised as suitable only for job sharing since such an arrangement would preclude those who, out of choice or necessity, wish to work full time.
Similarly, Head of Resource Centres/Head of Departments may agree to full time staff in post requesting to share their post where such a request is made voluntarily.
The University encourages the introduction of job shares at all levels in the organisation.
Many posts in the University may well be suitable for job share arrangements. If it is the case that a job share contract is not practicable for a particular post, Heads of Resource Centre/Heads of Department should be able to provide clear reasons to justify this.
There will be no compulsion on full or part-time staff in post to share jobs unless they voluntarily express a desire to do so, nor shall those making applications for full time work in the University be compelled to consider job sharing instead.
A voluntary list of employees/applicants interested in sharing jobs will be maintained in the Human Resources Department. This will be open to potential job share applicants for the purpose of their finding a job share partner.
Those who enter their names on the list will be asked to specify the work, specialities and location (if appropriate) in which they are interested, as well as the hours of work and salary/grade sought.
It will be the responsibility of job share applicants to contact potential 'partners' on the list.
a) Vacant Posts
Where a Head of Resource Centre/Head of Department decides that a full time post is suitable for job sharing, he/she should notify this to the Human Resources Department when the vacancy is released. The phrase 'suitable for job sharing' will then appear under the advertising copy and in the University vacancy bulletin.
Where application forms are requested, the standard covering letter should advise applicants to indicate on their application, if they wish to apply on a job share basis.
b) Existing Post holders
An existing full time employee may formally apply to their Head of Resource Centre/Head of Department for a job share arrangement to be agreed in respect of their post. Where the Head of Resource Centre/Head of Department agrees to the request, a job share vacancy should be notified through the Human Resources Department. The post holder will consult the job share list to explore the possibility of identifying potentially suitable job share applicants. If this is unsuccessful, the post should be advertised and single job share applications invited.
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 such cases the job share 'vacancy' should still be advertised in the internal vacancy bulletin in order to give any other internal candidates the opportunity to apply for the post.
The shortlisting and selection of job share applications will be carried out in accordance with current recruitment practices.
At the selection stage, each shortlisted candidate will be interviewed separately according to current practice.
However, it is important that prospective job sharers meet each other before final the selection stage The responsibility for arranging this rests with the applicant, although it should be recognised that they may need assistance if they are not known to each other.
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 application being received for a full time post advertised as 'suitable for job sharing', the applicant should be rejected at the shortlisting stage unless he/she has indicated on applying that he/she would be prepared to work full time if necessary.
If, at the shortlisting stage, one half of a joint/linked application is rejected, the successful half should be given the option of continuing to the selection stage either with any unlinked shortlisted job share applicant or as a full time applicant if he/she indicates a preparedness to work full time. Similarly, if one half of a joint/linked application proves unsuccessful at the final selection stage, he/she should be rejected. The remaining partner should be offered the option of being considered as a full time applicant should he/she wish.
a) Each job share partner will hold a Contract of Employment. The post holders' job share title will be that given to the full time job with the endorsement - Job Share.
b) Job sharers will be paid on a pro-rata basis. Commencing salary and increments where applicable will be determined in accordance with normal practice. Individual sharers may be paid at different rates within the appropriate range of salary scales to reflect different levels of experience, skills and abilities in accordance with grading definitions.
c) The basis on which work is to be shared will be individually stated in each partner's contract.
d) 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 Resource Centres/Heads of Departments should agree an established working pattern at the outset.
e) 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.
f) Overtime payments or extra hours for job sharers will be paid in accordance with the appropriate arrangements for that particular staff group. Overtime payments will not occur until individuals have worked in excess of the contract hours for their particular staff group. Academic and academic related staff are not entitled to overtime payments.
g) 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 to ensure parity.
h) 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.
i) 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.
j) If one partner in a job share arrangement leaves, the post will automatically be offered as a full time post to the remaining job sharer. If a job share postholder moves to a full time post they start to accumulate pensions benefits which accrue to the full time post.
If the remaining partner does not wish to work full time, the single job share post will be advertised after the job share list has first been consulted to try to find a suitable candidate.
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, transfer 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. Nevertheless this possibility will be explained fully to anyone considering or taking up a job share appointment.
k) All rights which are available to full time staff for training opportunities will apply to job sharers, including access to personal study facilities.
l) Job sharers will be considered for promotion in the same way as full time and other part-time employees.
The University will review the operation of the provisions of this policy one year after the implementation of the policy, in consultation with Union representatives.
Director of Human Resources
THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
14 May 1998