Seven reasons why employers need job-sharing


1. Job-sharing = a diverse workforce

Our conversation with employers always starts with how to address the attrition of women from senior posts.

The know that women disappear from work because senior roles cannot be successfully fulfilled with reduced work hours (which are needed to combine work with family and other caring roles).

And we know that diversity has a direct impact on the bottom line:

Companies with the highest percentile of women on their boards outperformed those in the lowest percentile by 53% higher return on equity, 42% higher return on sales, and 66% higher return on invested capital.[i]


2. Job-sharing = seamless delivery

Job-sharing means employers can offer their clients a genuinely seamless 24/7 service, and genuinely part-time hours to the employees.

This means ambitious job-sharers can combine big, challenging roles with reduced hours, and their family, caring and personal commitments. And employers can retain their talented staff, and so to achieve a genuinely diverse workforce.


3. Job-sharing = a pipeline of talent

“There are far more men called John than women leading FTSE 100 companies.

Among chief executives and chairs, there are 17 men called John (or Jean) – outnumbering all the female bosses put together. Men called David or Dave also outnumber women, by 2:1.”[ii]

It’s a simple problem – there aren’t enough women in senior roles and progressing to c-suite and beyond – to which job-sharing is the solution.


4. Job-sharing = saving money

Job-sharing allows employers to retain talented staff, so employers avoid the loss of investment they made in their training and development. And they avoid the cost of hiring, replacing and training new staff.

Staff turnover costs British businesses at least £4.13bn every year as new employees take up to eight months to reach optimum productivity levels[iii]


Up to 50% annual productivity is lost during the process of losing one employee to recruiting the next.[iv]

This isn’t just about the good times. In tough economic times, it is critical to have the most talented staff. Many employers offer flexible working options to reduce their overall paybill.


5. Job-sharing = innovation

Two heads are better than one: the best sharers bring a range of skills and experience – more than any one person could bring – and work together to find better, more innovative solutions.


6. Job-sharing = increased productivity

This also leads to a basic increase in productivity. The sharers are more productive – up to 30% more[v]. And they also need far less managerial input – resolving challenges between themselves – increasing their manager’s productivity too.


7. Job-sharing isn’t only for women

This is a vision of how work could look in the future.

The 2014 flexible working legislation means every employee has the statutory right to request flexible working and employers must have a sound business reason for rejecting their request.

Job sharing could be a choice made by anyone, and the prospect is exciting.

We also know employers are considering how to respond to both the priority GenY places on work-life balance, and combining employment with entrepreneurialism; and to the elements of their workforce which, nearing retirement, are ‘blocking’ progression from more junior staff.

Imagine a millennial sharing a post with an experienced employee for whom retirement nears, combining organisational knowledge and experience with recent learning, new methodologies and fresh energy.


Two really is the magic number.








[i]      Catalyst on Fortune500 companies

[ii]     Guardian research, 2015

[iii]    Oxford Economics, 2014

[iv]     Job Share Project

[v]      Job Share Project

Sara Allen