Job Sharing: Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages

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Shawn Grimsley

Want more job flexibility? Job sharing may be the answer. In this lesson, you'll learn about job sharing, its advantages and disadvantages. You'll also have a chance to take a brief quiz after the lesson to reinforce your knowledge.

We also recommend watching Job Rotation: Definition, Advantages, Disadvantages & Examples and Vasectomy: Purpose, Advantages & Disadvantages

Definition

Job sharing occurs when two or more people share one job by working on different days or at different times. In other words, multiple people fill one job position.

Example

Let's say you work at a manufacturing plant in Detroit that makes parts for a large automobile company. You just had your first child and want to spend more time at home. You have a friend who also happens to be a new mommy who works at the plant in the same position as you. She also wants to spend more time at home with her child. You both approach your supervisor and see if a job sharing arrangement can be made.

Your supervisor runs your request up the chain of command, and in a few days you are informed that the company will allow a fifty-fifty split. You agree to work half of the shift and your friend will work the other half. You and she will rotate from morning and afternoon shifts on a weekly basis. You are paid a wage so you don't have to be worried about splitting your salary, but will nevertheless take home fifty percent less each pay period. You also have to give up fifty percent of the contribution your employer makes to your 401K and health insurance because it must be shared with your friend who is sharing the job.

Factors to Consider

Employers and employees should consider several factors before agreeing to job sharing.

  • If the position is salaried, you need to figure out how the salary will be divided between the employees filling the position.
  • You will also need to decide how to divide up the vacation days, sick days, and paid holidays.
  • Other employee benefits such as health insurance and retirement fund matching has to be divided. In this situation, the percentage of an employer's contribution can be divided up. For example, if an employer covers 100% of an employee's health insurance premium for the position, the employer may only cover one-third of the premium for each employee if three people share the job. The idea is to keep the costs for the employer the same, since we are dealing with one position.
  • You will also need to clearly define which employees will have responsibility for each specific duty of the position.
  • You and your employer will also have to have a good understanding how you will be evaluated in light of the fact that you are only doing part of the work.

A key thing to remember is that you are sharing the job, which means that you are only entitled a proportion of the salary and benefits that come with the position, and your fellow employees are entitled to their portion.

Advantages

Job sharing can be advantageous to both employers and employees. It obviously can give you a great amount of flexibility. It can allow you the chance to spend more time with your family and engage in other quality of life activities. It may also allow you to enter into semi-retirement. It can also help reduce stress and burnout.

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