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Job share - can it work...... and how??

(3 Posts)
Losingmypatience Thu 18-Nov-10 23:46:33

I work for a large organisation which, like many others, is going through re-organisation and redundencies right now. They're pretty good already on part-time and flexible working and tell us they want to retain that. However the problem comes in that they have lots of part-time people doing part of a full-time job with no-one doing the other part but very few job shares.

I think the issue is that we are expected, when we apply for jobs within the organisation, to find someone willing to job share with us before we apply. This has all sorts of logistic problems and it doesn't take much imagination to conjour up visions of a dating style website 'matching' potential job sharers...hmm

So my question to all is: does your company make good use of job share arrangements and if so how does it sort out the logistics? Do you sort it out prior to applying? Can you get a job on a part-time basis and then recruit into the other part of it? What are the other options I am missing?

I think if I can give them some sensible options then they might just adopt them and make flexible working better for all smile so all advice / ideas gratefully received!

RibenaBerry Fri 19-Nov-10 12:58:58

My honest opinion is that it is far better if a job can be restructured so that the duties are rearranged into two part time positions than as a job share. I realise that's not what you are looking for, but these are the issues I have come across and I think you need to think about with job shares:

- balance of workload (too often, one person feels like they are carrying the other);
-communication between partners - can an overlap day or half day be financially justified?
-holidays. If each person has 4 weeks (plus a bit because of bank holidays that won't have fallen on working days) and don't co-ordinate, that's an awful lot of weeks of the year where you only have half the job share in;
-possibility of one person becoming the favoured half of the job share - good work being saved for them by supervisors, etc;
-common with women who job share on the return from maternity- the logistics if there are lots of consecutive maternity leaves between the two partners. It can be very difficult to get cover for a job share. Similarly if one person leaves.

Sorry, a bit negative, but maybe if you think about why they might not be keen you could think about ways of addressing it?

Losingmypatience Fri 19-Nov-10 13:19:38

It's always good to know the negatives so you're prepared to deal with these RibenaBerry so thank you anyhow!

We are a pretty technical organisation and the work is project based so responsibilities can often be split. What happens now though is that the person who's allowed to do the job on a part-time basis is often the only person in the job and the other half (or whatever proportion it is) just isn't recruited into. In practice the workload doesn't always match the agreed hours and it puts pressure on both individual employees and the organisation.

Our management actually see job share as a way of making this better for their employees and for them (I think!) but just don't know how to arrange the logistics of match.

I think they probably need to be prepared to recruit part time and then recruit again but advertisingly specifically for a part-time person. Or be upfront at the beginning and say they will accept applications from part time people but will look to combine them to create a full time equivelant.

However I think they think confused that potential job sharers should find each other beforehand and then apply together.

I can see pros and cons of both so am just interested in the experiences of others.

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