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Job share

A job share involves two members of staff sharing a single, normally full-time role.

Pay, duties, benefits and leave entitlement are shared between the two staff members on a pro-rata or proportional basis (divided by hours worked).

A job share involves both staff committing to completing the full role as a duo.

The job share role can be worked in the following ways:

Traditional All duties, tasks and responsibilities are shared proportionally between the two members of staff
Split The job is divided into two parts with each member of staff leading on specific areas of the role (it is important to ensure that the split duties match the banding requirement of the role)
Hybrid Some of the role is shared and some of the role is divided into separate responsibilities
Developmental An experienced staff member covers some elements on a part-time basis while providing in-role mentoring and working alongside a junior colleague to up-skill them. This is ideal for a pre-retirement situation to enable the transfer of knowledge and skills


A job share role:

  • benefits from a wider range of skills, knowledge, ideas and experience
  • encourages problem solving as each person will bring a different perspective
  • increases provision of cover during all types of leave
  • improves retention within the department and enhances service cover
  • facilitates work-life balance and flexible retirement
  • allows staff to move up the career ladder without the requirement to work full-time hours

Points to consider

Is there any impact of the role being undertaken by two members of staff, and how can this be overcome?

Working hours and patterns

There is no fixed way to work a job share and hours could be worked as a 50/50 split or 60/40. How the hours are split will depend on the needs of the service and the staff requesting the job share. It is important to note that the total number of hours should not exceed full-time hours (37.5 hours per week) unless there is budget to enable this.

Job share working hours could be split in the following ways:

Half/split days One staff member works in the morning, the other in the afternoon
Half/split weeks One staff member works the first half of the week, the other the latter (e.g. 2.5 days each or three days and two days)
Alternating days One staff member works two days one week, three days the other and this then rotates
Alternating weeks One staff member works one week, the other the next (its recommended that this is based on working Wednesday am to Wednesday pm)

Important note: unevenly split hours will require differences in the workload expectations of the two members of staff.


Both members of staff will be paid at the same band, but they may be on different incremental points dependent upon their length of service.

Pay will be pro-rota for the hours worked by each job share partner.


Job share requests may come from:

  • an existing member of staff looking to reduce their hours
  • two members of staff who want to share one role
  • an applicant as part of the recruitment process

Each request should be reviewed separately and follow the correct guidance.

Job share requests can only be refused on one of eight legal grounds as outlined in step three of the flexible working request guidance:

Requests from an existing staff member

A job share request could be received from a member of staff wanting to reduce their hours.

The manager should consider:

    • If the remaining hours could be offered out to other staff within the team. This could be done as an expression of interest form for staff in the same role, or as an internal job advert for staff in different roles or on different banding;
      • Advertising the second part of the job share post externally. If a job share partner cannot be appointed after two recruitment attempts, further discussions will need to be held on the viability of job sharing. It may be appropriate to review alternative flexible working options for the member of staff.

Important to note: There must be clear evidence to justify refusing this request without testing the recruitment process, it is recommended to contact the HR Advisory Team for advice in these instances.

Depending on the needs of the service, the staff member who made the request may need to continue their existing hours in line with their current contract until a job share partner has been appointed and starts in post. Alternatively, a temporary reduction in hours could be agreed for the duration of the recruitment process.

Requests from two existing staff members

A job share request could be received from two current members of staff. The manager should consider and ensure that both staff:

      • occupy a post of the same banding or be in a higher band role and be prepared to move to the lower banding to the role they wish to job share (e.g. staff member is band 5 but the role being applied for is band 4). A job share cannot be agreed where it would involve the promotion of a member of staff to a higher band without a fair recruitment process taking place
      • must meet the essential criteria of the person specification for the role
      • give consideration to the impact of the role being undertaken by two staff members and how this could be overcome

Requests at the recruitment stage

Requests received during the application stage

Joint applications by job share partners must be assessed in the same way as applications from other candidates. The job share partners should be interviewed and tested separately to assess each one against the job specifications. Both applicants would need to meet the agreed criteria to be able to offer the role to both candidates. Where only one candidate meets the agreed criteria, please see the Requests received after the application offer on the process to follow.

Requests received after the application offer

If a candidate requests a job share following a job offer, the request needs to be considered in line with the flexible working procedure. Consideration must be given to the suitability of the role and potential service delivery implications (both good and bad).

If a manager agrees to the request in principle, they will need to:

      • review the selection process to understand if there is another appointable candidate who was suitable to undertake a job share, or
      • commence the recruitment for a job share partner in line with the Trust’s recruitment and selection procedure
      • complete a reduction in hours HR2a/ESR2a form for the successful member of staff
      • advertise for a new member of staff and complete a WAF

After agreeing to a request

After agreeing a job share it is important to spend time with both staff members to confirm:

      • How will duties and responsibilities of the role be split according to the number of hours worked by each job share partner?
      • If there are staff management responsibilities, how will this be divided by the job share partners?
      • Are there any KPIs for the role, and if so, how will they be monitored or distributed?
      • Is there a requirement for an identified handover during the week? If there is, then how will the working hours overlap to facilitate this?
      • During periods of leave how will core meetings/tasks be covered?
      • How will both members of staff be kept up to date with all Trust and departmental communications?
      • How will both staff members attend team meetings to ensure both parties are kept up to date? Can this be done during the proposed working hours or will there need to be flexibility?
      • Are there targets associated with the role and how can these be divided?
      • How will outputs be monitored?
      • If the role includes managing staff, will staff be divided according to the working hours on each member of staff or managed collectively? Consider the consistency in approach to line management and any issues which may be raised
      • Would a handover document be helpful to ensure a smooth transition and flow of duties? This is especially helpful if a job share partner is unable to resolve an issue before the end of their working week
      • Are there any key stakeholders who need to be aware off the job share and how this will be communicated?

Communication in a job share needs to:

  • have clear expectations on how it will be done (i.e. face to face, written handovers)
  • be regular and two-way. Allocated time should be built in to regularly review the effectiveness of the partnership
  • tackle any issues that arise as quickly as possible to avoid problems escalating
  • include the rest of the team / colleagues. It is important that everyone feels that communicating with one partner is the same as communicating to both

As with all flexible working requests, it is important to regularly review the arrangement to assess how things are working. Is the division of duties working as anticipated? Is there anything that needs to be changed which could improve the job sharing situation whilst still ensuring role delivery?

Process for when a member of staff ends a job share

If one of the staff members in a job share leaves, the manager will need to:

        • review the current role and requirements. Does the job need to be undertaken in full-time hours? Can the role be completed on a part time basis? If so, what hours are required for the role?
        • determine the hours required for the role and if they cannot be completed within the hours currently being undertaken by the other job sharer, the manager should meet with them and offer the opportunity to increase their hours to the identified requirement (e.g. if they currently work 25 hours and it is identified that the minimum number of hours required for the role is 30, discuss if they would be happy to increase to 30 hours a week and the working days/hours as required).
        • if the remaining member of staff does not wish to increase their hours, then recruitment should be undertaken for a new job share partner;
          • if it is not possible to fill the job share vacancy, after attempts have been made to externally recruit, then it may be necessary to fill the job on a full-time basis and redeploy the job sharer to another suitable shared job or part time post. This process should only commence after consultation with HR.

Top tip

It is important to remember to develop both staff members as individuals as well as within the role. Considering the separate development needs is crucial to their career aspirations.

Each member of staff should have individual 1:1s and appraisals to ensure their personal development plan is aligned to them and the role.

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