Working during COVID-19

Job share considerations and guide

Overview

A job share is a work plan where one full time position is shared by two part-time 0.50 FTE regular staff performing the same duties with prorated salaries and time off accruals. A job share can be particularly desirable to employees because they benefit from the flexibility gained through part-time work, while departments are able to retain valuable and experienced employees.

Employees considering a job share should jointly develop a job share agreement to present to their manager(s) using this Job Share Plan and Agreement (MS Word) form. Managers should carefully evaluate a proposed job share agreement before approving it because it is intended to benefit employees while allowing departments to meet their business needs. A job share arrangement does not change the underlying conditions of employment with the University and may be ended by participating employee(s) or the department.

Considerations

Employees and managers should consider the following items and incorporate best practices when proposing and considering a job share:

Job share agreement component and questions to consider Best practices
Attributes of participating employees:
Do the employees work well together? Are their work styles, work ethic, and subject matter expertise complementary?
Employees do not have to have the same experience or time on the job, but should understand their own strengths and weaknesses and be able to support and be flexible with their job share partner.
Schedule:
What will the weekly schedule be? How will employees participate in workgroup or department meetings and make sure there is coverage during absences?
Include scheduled time for direct communication each week. This will ensure job share partners can talk about their shared work and stay in sync. Supervisors must set clear expectations about whether both employees will attend required department activities even if occurring during a job share partner’s day off, or if one partner will provide an update for the other.

Example schedule: Employee 1 works Monday and Tuesday and half a day on Wednesday. Employee 2 works half a day on Wednesday, plus Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is the overlap day that provides for time to allow for collaboration and for Employee 1 to hand off ongoing work to Employee 2.

Coverage:
What will coverage look like if a job share partner is absent?
If one job share partner uses time off (e.g., is on vacation or is sick), coverage is typically performed by colleagues other than the job share partner. Overtime eligible job share employees earn straight time for hours worked above 20 per week up to 40 hours in a week, and overtime and time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Overtime exempt job share employees are paid to get the job done and receive no additional pay for the additional hours.
Communication and information sharing:
What are employees’ communication preferences? How will they ensure they both have current information about their work?
  • Some employees work better over email while others prefer the phone or video (Zoom); knowing each other’s preferences helps with the sharing of job duties.
  • Email signatures should include work schedules, and a reminder for all emails to CC: the other job share employee.
  • Develop a tracking tool to allow for sharing of information when out of the office.
  • Consider sharing an existing file or creating a shared file for work documents so there is one location for work items that both employees can access.
Continuous evaluation and improvement:
How long will the trial period last? What opportunities will be provided for open discussion of what is and is not working? How will effectiveness be evaluated and adjustments considered?
A trial period, usually a month or two, provides time to identify and address issues. Ongoing discussion, evaluation, and adjustment between job share partners and their manager is critical to the success of the job share arrangement.
Dividing up or sharing work:
Will work or clients be divided equally or shared? If divided, what will the division of work be based on (client needs or employee strengths/subject matter expertise – or both)?
If dividing work and/or clients, base it on interest, expertise, and business needs. If sharing work, create a plan for ensuring each employee knows where the other left off.
Job share considerations for overtime exempt employees

When participating in a job share, overtime exempt employees are expected to accomplish their regular job duties even if this requires more than 20 hours of work per week or working on a different day than they are normally scheduled. Regular occurrences of work beyond 20 hours a week may be an indication that adjustments to the job share agreement are needed.

Initiating a job share agreement

To initiate a job share, interested employees first discuss job share considerations and prepare a job share agreement for review by their manager(s). Once agreed to and approved by both employees and their manager(s), the job share agreement is retained in each employees’ personnel file. The FTE change process is then initiated by the Unit Initiator after employees have requested FTE changes, their managers has approved it, and work schedule changes are completed, as applicable, in Workday or Kronos.