Job Sharing in the Civil Service
Job sharing in the Civil Service is a flexible working arrangement where two employees share the responsibilities and duties of one full-time job. This concept aligns with the Civil Service's commitment to being an inclusive employer, promoting flexible working as a key part of its culture. The arrangement typically involves dividing the total number of hours in various ways, with both partners doing the same type of work. For example, one partner might work the first half of the week and the other the latter half, or they might split the day into morning and afternoon shifts.
The primary reason individuals opt for job sharing is usually a significant life change, such as becoming a parent or carer, changes in health, or approaching retirement age. For civil servants interested in transitioning to a job sharing arrangement, the first step is to discuss it with their line manager and then find a suitable job share partner, often with departmental support.
One of the key benefits of job sharing is improved work/life balance, helping individuals manage outside responsibilities, health, and well-being. It also opens up a wide range of roles that might not be available as part-time positions, and provides a platform for career progression without the need to work full-time. The collaborative nature of job sharing allows for a blend of skills and experiences, fostering creativity and idea-sharing.
For teams and the Civil Service as a whole, job sharing increases colleague engagement, enhances team creativity, and maintains business continuity. It's particularly beneficial for retaining talented staff and promoting equality, especially for women balancing professional roles with responsibilities like childcare or managing menopause.
Job sharing also supports line managers by offering a diverse range of skills and experiences for a single role, often reducing the need for managerial input as job sharers support and learn from each other. This arrangement can improve productivity by reducing the strain on staff balancing work and personal responsibilities, ensuring continuous job coverage, and accommodating various employee needs as mandated by the Employee Rights Act 1996 Right to Request Flexible Working Amendment 2014.
In case a job sharing partnership ends, clear procedures are usually defined to manage the situation, with options like offering the full-time role to the remaining partner, supporting them with other team members, or seeking a new job share partner.