The many benefits of job share
It is essential for those working in the education profession to have a healthy work/life balance that encourages job satisfaction and time spent with family and friends. Job share is one way to ease the stress of work and often interests new parents or employees transitioning to retirement.
Job share is a voluntary employment arrangement where the duties, responsibilities, pay and other benefits of one full-time position are shared between two employees.
Most full-time teachers and school officers working in the non-government sector in Queensland are entitled to request job share. If you are working at a school without this provision, then it is worth raising this in your next round of collective bargaining negotiations.
The National Employment Standards (NES) provide a right to request flexible working agreements in specified circumstances, such as returning from parental leave. Job share is one way of ensuring a successful return to work.
Job share proposals do require the agreement of the employer and requests are more likely to be accepted where the proposal adequately meets the employer’s operational requirements.
It may be worth noting that there are circumstances where an employer is required to demonstrate reasonable business grounds before they refuse a job share request. For the most part, job share arrangements are set up on a fixed term basis, and in the absence of a renewal or any other ongoing arrangement, staff should return to their substantive roles at end of a job share period.
The positive benefits of job share include:
- Increased efficiency and productivity by sharing workload and duties between two people
- Benefitting from two employees’ skills, experience and knowledge in the one position
- Reducing absenteeism and workplace stress
- Increasing the rate of return from maternity leave
- Reducing turnover and costs of replacing employees
IEUA-QNT Member Leanne Murray from Our Lady of the Assumption School has taken on job share arrangements after a period of maternity leave. She says the best part of job share is the flexibility of work and spending quality time with her children while they are young.
“This is my third year of job share. I had a baby, went on maternity leave and then had another two kids, so I’ve been going on and off job share for a few years now,” Leanne said.
“The benefits of splitting the duties with another person is being able to provide care for my kids who aren’t school age yet and being available to them for at least half the week.
“It gives me a chance to take them to swimming lessons and playgroup and give them other opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to give them if I had been back working full-time.”
She said one of the things you have to be prepared for is taking a pay cut.
“It’s not about the money, it’s about spending quality time with your family while they are young because you won’t get that time back later on.”
“You have to maintain a good working relationship with your job share partner and manage how to split the workload.
“Be prepared to receive a few extra emails each day as you need to be aware of everything that happens on your non-working day. The parents from your class should feel assured that both teachers are working together.”
For more information on job share, or for advice and assistance in preparing a job share application, contact our union via FREECALL 1800 177 938.
This article was extracted from the November 2015 edition of Independent Voice.