Q.1 What is job-share working?
It is a contractual agreement whereby (usually) two employees fill a post which would or could normally be performed by exactly one employee. The term "job-share" is, however, widely misused.
Q.2 In what ways is the term mis-used?
- The post being filled was never at any stage in any way a shared post.
- The post was originally a job-share post but where one partner left, that person was never replaced.
- The authority (or headteacher) has simply designated a part-time teacher's post as being part of a job-share arrangement without the teacher's agreement.
Q.3 Are there other forms of part-time working?
There are other forms. It is possible to hold a permanent (or temporary) part-time contract with no form of job-share arrangement.
Q.4 How are the terms of job-share employment determined?
Like all employment, the terms under which a job-sharer is employed is determined by written contract. Where any problem or dispute arises, the answer will generally be clear by reference to this contract.
Q.5 What constitutes the contract?
It is likely to have two parts: a written statement of particulars for the job-sharer and an authority protocol for the general operation of job-share which should be referred to in the written statement. Job-share teachers are strongly advised to obtain and retain a copy of the authority protocol.
Q.6 What sort of issues should be covered in the contractual arrangements?
These should include the following:-
- What happens when one partner leaves employment
- Attendance on in-service days and at parents' nights
- Overlap to allow liaison
- The extent of the rights of the employer to vary the working hours
- Generality of pro-rata arrangements for collegiate time etc
Q.7 What arrangements might exist to cover what happens when one partner leaves?
These can vary widely. It is essential that all job-sharers understand and recognise the arrangements. The following are commonly found arrangements:-
- The remaining job-share partner is offered the return to full-time working (a common requirement).
- Where this is not possible, the post is advertised as a job-share post.
- The job-share arrangement is dissolved and the additional teaching time allocated to others or, at the discretion of the HT, re-timetabling takes place.
- If he/she originally did work on a full-time basis the remaining job-sharer is required to revert to full-time working if no suitable job-share partner can be identified. This important contractual requirement must be recognised (where it exists) when accepting a job-share contract.
Q.8 Are there significant advantages to having a permanent part-time contract rather than a job-share contract?
Because of the problems outlined above (particularly in Q.7) there are significant advantages in part-time contracts.
Q.9 Should permanent part-time staff who are asked to become part of a job-share arrangement therefore refuse to accept the change? Is it possible to refuse to accept?
Members in this situation should contact the General Secretary. Members should generally refuse the job-share post and probably are entitled to do so.
Q.10 Are there any particular issues with the job-sharing of a promoted post?
There are significant issues. Employers are much less likely to allow the job- sharing of a promoted post. There can be problems of style and emphasis between such job-sharers. It is significantly more likely that the employer will require that the remaining postholder revert to full-time working if the other job-share partner leaves and can't be replaced.
Q.11 What should I do if I wish to job-share?
Contact the SSTA.