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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Job Sharing Policy


A "job share" is where two individuals on the same grade carry out the full range of duties and responsibilities associated with one full time post. This usually occurs when an existing member of staff wishes to work on a part time basis, following maternity leave or because of other personal commitments, and where it is not possible to reduce the number of hours required for that post.

Job sharing can also be an excellent way in which to retain and attract high quality employees who would not otherwise be available for work.

The University’s Position on Job Sharing

The University employs a number of employees as "job sharers" in line with the University’s commitment to equal opportunities.

Requests to "job share" must be given full and fair consideration. We have a legal responsibility to make every effort to accommodate requests for part time working following a flexible working request but it is also good employment practice. The opportunity to "job share" is open to all staff members. Should you receive a request to "job share" you should contact your HR Representative for advice.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

For a position to be deemed a "job share" the following conditions must be adhered to:

  • Both members of staff must be on the same salary scale, although they can be on different incremental points.
  • The hours of work can be shared in a number of ways, the most popular being 2.5 days each or 3 days and 2 days. This should be negotiated with the individuals concerned and the Head of Department and any agreement must meet the operational needs of the Department. It is essential, where possible, to have a short period of overlap to ease communication and ensure continuity.
  • A trial period of six months is incorporated into a job share contract of employment to ensure the arrangement meets the needs of all concerned.
  • Holidays, bank holidays and customary days should be aggregated and allocated on a pro rata basis, e.g.

for a member of staff working a 50% job share, entitled to 27 days annual leave per year + 4 customary days + 8 bank holidays (39 in total), the entitlement per annum would be calculated as 39/2=19 1/2 days.

  • Where a bank holiday or customary day falls when one member of the job share would usually work then one day must be deducted from the entitlement for that year. This does require some forward planning as there must be sufficient entitlement left at the end of the year to accommodate the Christmas break.
  • Overtime pay will accrue (for those groups of staff who are entitled to receive overtime payments) once the full-time equivalent of the normal working week has been worked.
  • Other benefits such as long service leave, sick pay, access to training and career development will be calculated on an individual basis.

Benefits of Job Share

  • You get two people’s ideas, energy and commitment for the price of one. It also provides a wider skill and knowledge base.
  • Inconvenience may be minimised during times of holiday and sickness absence if you can arrange to have one member of staff present at all times. You also have the capacity to double capability at specific times (subject to overtime payments being made where appropriate).
  • The cost implications are minimal and should not affect your departmental budget.
  • You will retain the services of experienced and valued members of staff. Job share is a way of employing talented people who are not available for full time work.

Disadvantages of Job Share

  • Extra effort must be made to ensure effective communication and continuity of work between the job sharers.
  • There may be confusion from clients who have to deal with two separate people.

If one member of the job share leaves

The post may be offered to the other half on a full time basis, or if this is not an option, the other half of the job should be advertised. Whether or not the post is filled the remaining job sharer’s post should continue.

N.B. Please note that this policy statement applies only to "job sharers" and not part time staff.