A job share arrangement is a full-time job split between two individuals, each with responsibility for the success of the total job. Job sharing allows two staff members to share the responsibilities of one full-time position, typically with prorated salary and paid time off. Creative and innovative schedules can be designed to meet the needs of the job sharers and the department. Job-sharing arrangements can be 50/50, 60/40 or any similar combination. The schedules may also overlap as needed or desired.

Successful job sharing arrangements usually place responsibility for a functional arrangement on the individuals sharing the job (job partners) rather than the supervisor. Both job partners should agree up front that if one of the job partners is not meeting the needs of the organization or decides to leave the job, the other will revert to a full-time schedule, permanently or until a replacement job partner is found within a reasonable time frame. If a new job partner cannot be found and the remaining job partner does not want a full-time job, he/she will agree to resign from the job to be replaced by a full-time employee. This is considered a voluntary resignation and does not qualify the individual for position discontinuation and staff transition benefits.

Advantages and Challenges

Job sharing partners can provide more consistent service to internal and external clients than two part-time staff members.It may be a challenge for a staff member who is interested in job sharing to find a job sharing partner with whom they are personally and professionally compatible.
Job sharing partners can fill in for one another during scheduled and unscheduled absences.Job sharing partners may find it challenging to maintain the constant communication required to keep one another informed about scheduling (meetings, training, travel, etc.) and status of shared work.
Two heads are better than one. The job sharing partners' clients, supervisor and co-workers, and the partners themselves, can benefit from the varied perspectives, strengths, and skills each job sharing partner brings to the job.A work unit may find it difficult to fund a job sharing arrangement.
Staff members in job sharing arrangements have more time outside of work to take care of personal responsibilities; as a result they can be more focused on the tasks at hand during their scheduled work time.May decrease the potential for advancement.

Job Sharing Example

Elizabeth began to consider job sharing when her mother became ill. She realized that because of personal responsibilities, she no longer wanted to work on a full time basis but still wanted to be able to preserve her career skills and status within her profession. With her supervisor, Elizabeth determined that a job sharing arrangement would be valuable in helping her create a sense of balance in her life. She now works Monday, Tuesday and until noon on Wednesday when her job sharing partner takes over to work the remainder of the workweek.