Compensation

Job Sharing—The Advantages and Disadvantages

Job sharing is a special type of part-time employment in which two or more employees share the duties of a single, full-time position. Job sharers may each work part of a day or work alternate days or weeks. Here’s how it may benefit the employer:

  • Improve recruiting by attracting qualified employees who don’t want to work full-time.
  • Improve retention by offering an alternative that may appeal to many workers.
  • Reduce absenteeism and tardiness because of the flexibility offered.
  • Give workers time to deal with family and other personal responsibilities.
  • Give the employer a pool of workers who can be asked to return to full-time work temporarily during high demand periods or to fill in for other employees who must be away from their jobs unexpectedly.
  • Increase productivity as each partner makes sure to do his or her full share.
  • Enhance output because of collaboration and exchange of ideas between partners.
  • Increase engagement especially when a partner goes from full time to part time—instead of stress from missing deadlines, there is pride at getting the job done.

However, there may also be several disadvantages to job sharing:

  • Need for additional supervisory time;
  • Possible disruption of work flow;
  • Communication; and.
  • Scheduling challenges for training and meetings.

Job sharing may be appropriate for:

  • Jobs that cannot be split into two part-time positions;
  • Tedious or high-stress jobs; and
  • Meeting employee or applicant requests.

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Employers that think that job sharing might suit their needs should outline general procedures and even try it on a trial basis. For specific job-sharing arrangements, spell out the details in writing, including each job sharer’s salary, benefits, work schedule, and accountabilities.

In particular, concentrate on:

  • The “pass-off,” that is, the system for briefing the other partner on accomplishments, developments, and ongoing issues;
  • Time at the beginning of the arrangement for the partners to plan out how they will manage together, and regular meetings from time to time; and
  • A clear definition of what, if any, communication is permitted/expected between the two partners.

In many cases, reports say, the two partners morph into one person to clients and coworkers—after an interaction, the person can’t tell which partner was involved in the discussion.

Job sharing—just one more of the numerous wage and hour challenges all comp pros face. Wage and hour should be simple, but it’s just not. Complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of the most confusing and challenging things comp managers have to do. How can you tell if they are doing it right?

There’s only one way to find out what sort of compensation shenanigans are going on—regular audits.

To accomplish a successful audit, BLR’s editors recommend a unique checklist-based program called the Wage & Hour Self-Audit Guide. Why are checklists so great? It is because they’re completely impersonal, and they force you to jump through all the necessary hoops, one by one. They also ensure consistency in how operations are conducted. And that’s vital in compensation, where it’s all too easy to land in court if you discriminate in how you treat one employee over another.

Experts say that it’s always better to do your own audit and fix what needs fixing before authorities do their audit. Most employers agree, but they get bogged down in how to start, and in the end, they do nothing. There are, however, aids to making the FLSA self-auditing relatively easy.

What our editors strongly recommend is BLR’s Wage & Hour Self-Audit Guide. It is both effective and easy to use, and it even won an award for those features. Here are some reasons our customers like it:

  • Plain English. Drawing on 30 years of experience in creating plain-English compliance guides, our editors have translated FLSA’s endless legalese into understandable terms.
  • Step-by-step. The book begins with a clear narrative of what the FLSA is all about. That’s followed by a series of checklists that utilize a simple question-and-answer pattern about employee duties to find the appropriate classification.

All you need to avoid exempt/nonexempt classification and overtime errors, now in BLR’s award-winning FLSA Wage & Hour Self-Audit Guide. Find out more.


  • Complete. Many self-audit programs focus on determining exempt/nonexempt status. BLR’s also adds checklists on your policies and procedures and includes questioning such practices as whether your break time and travel time are properly accounted for. Nothing falls through the cracks because the cracks are covered.
  • Convenient. Our personal favorite feature: a list of common job titles marked “E” or “NE” for exempt/nonexempt status. It’s a huge work saver.
  • Up to Date. If you are using an old self-auditing program, you could be in for trouble. Substantial revisions in the FLSA went into effect in 2004. Anything written before that date is hopelessly—and expensively—obsolete. BLR’s Wage & Hour Self-Audit Guide includes all the changes.

You can examine BLR’s Wage & Hour Self-Audit Guide for up to 30 days at no cost or obligation. Go here and we’ll be glad to arrange it.