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Job share issue - can anyone help?

(3 Posts)
jobsharewoes Fri 14-Feb-14 17:12:08

Hi, I've name changed as this is identifying.

I started a job share last May following maternity leave as a colleague was also returning from ML at the same time. We work in a very small charitable organisation (5 full-time managers + 25 p-t/casual staff) and there have been several organisational changes over the last couple of years. My colleague was actually heading the organisation but took a demotion in order to work in our job share so we could both work p/t.

Our job was as a kind of operations manager and an Executive Director was recruited to work above us. The ED has been very different to previous senior managers and made it very clear she had 'no intention' of doing any of the day to day running of the building and business - this has been the norm in the past because of the small team and heavy workload. This meant that a lot of additional work fell on our shoulders and we could barely keep up but we have tried our best.

However my job share counterpart has decided this week enough is enough and has handed in her notice. I can understand why. We both love the place but it's just a huge amount of stress for very little money.

The ED called me in and said she had 'no intention' (that phrase again) of hiring a new job-share person as she felt the role needed to be one full-time person. She offered me the full-time role and I was non-committal (I was pretty shocked tbh). She then met with the chair of our Board of Trustees and on her return said the good news was that they really want to retain me so if I don't want the f/t role, they will find me a part time job. The Chair has apparently already emailed the rest of the Board to tell them we have agreed this is the way forward.

I feel like the rug has been pulled from underneath me. I thought that they had an obligation to try and find a replacement before going down this alternative route? Unfortunately there was nothing in my contract to state this (nothing at all about what would happen if one left) and we have no HR department to turn to. Do I have any rights to expect this? I am just not sure what to think.

I am actually open to the idea of having a standalone p/t job and I think that the operations manager role is actually about 1.5 people's work anyway so maybe I should just go along with it. But I feel like they have just assumed I am ok with not having the job share and I feel like this puts me in a weak position. I don't want to say that yet as I feel they could offer me a part time role on much less money.

I know it's a Friday evening but if anyone has any knowledge of the law in this area please can they advise me if I am right that they should be either advertising the job-share first, or discussing with me if I would be happy to consider an alternative - not just withdrawing the job-share as an option? That they are not doing me a favour by finding a p/t role but in fact doing the minimum they are legally required to? My head is buzzing and I feel like I can't think straight about it all.

I'm sorry this is so epic - thank you so much if you have read it all and thanks in advance for any responses.

Mojang Fri 14-Feb-14 17:24:46

This happened to me but it was a long time ago, so apologies if I'm a bit vague.

IIRC it is your responsibility as "job sharer" to find a partner. They are right to advertise a f-t position (as that's what it is) and you can apply for that as a job sharer but you have to find someone to apply for the other half, who also needs to be successful.

If they/you are unable to find a sharer, then you are redundant unless they find a suitable alternative position for you. Which is what they have done.

TBH in your position I'd bite their hand off for the position they've offered. As we've both found out to our cost there are some significant downsides to job sharing.

jobsharewoes Fri 14-Feb-14 18:00:52

Thank you for the response Mojang. It is good to get another perspective. There is actually someone else here who I think would have been a good candidate to take on the other half of the job share but if the ED/Board have decided this is not what they want, then I guess it would be better to work out a p/t role for myself.

I think it feels like they had a problem with the job-share which is why they don't want it to continue, but we weren't aware of this and thought it was working well. Despite having lots of female employees they have dealt with very few maternity and related issues and we were pleased that they had taken on the idea of the job share.

I have emailed them to say I would have appreciated if this had been a discussion rather than a decision and that I am open to the idea of the role changing. I haven't said yet that I don't want to work full time as I am still scared that will disadvantage me but I guess I will have to do so in the next couple of days.

I suppose I shouldn't be shocked by all this but I guess in a small organisation you feel like these decisions will be carefully thought through and discussed. Like you say I am learning!

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