If job sharing has two people splitting one full-time position, do they split health insurance and other benefits too? It depends. Read on for options.
A job sharing set-up suggests a pro-ration of benefits, 50/50, or whatever hours split is proposed (some partners do 60/40 or other combinations).
But it really depends on the employer’s policy—if there is one. If your employer doesn’t have a job sharing policy, you’re in position to propose it the way you want it (to a degree).
Focus on the High Value Benefits
In my opinion, employer-sponsored medical insurance and retirement contributions (if offered) are where the real money value is, so concentrate your negotiations there.
Disability coverage, life insurance and paid time off has value, too. You’ll want to prioritize them and assess what you can afford and what you can afford to negotiate away for higher priority items. For example, an individual term life insurance can purchased for a reasonable amount on your own.
Some employers retain full-time employee benefits at a certain minimum hour level, for example, 32 or—more generous and unusual—24 hours a week. Research internal policies before outlining your proposal so you have the best personal plan. These planning steps are included in the Job Sharing Proposal Package.
If your prospective job sharing partner agrees to waive the health insurance benefits because of other coverage, e.g., under her husband’s policy, then you can negotiate to retain the employer’s medical coverage.
Otherwise, for that, and for retirement benefits, vacations, sick days, etc., pro-rating is only fair to both individuals.
I’ve heard of one job sharing pair who handled the fairness issue this way: only one was allowed the employer-paid medical insurance, so that person paid for half the out-of-pocket insurance premium for the other person.
List and Prioritize Benefits Options
Work with your prospective job partner to prioritize the benefits, figure possible negotiating scenarios and outcomes with your employer, and devise some fair, mutually-agreeable solutions for each outcome.
Emphasize that any incremental costs are generally outweighed by the benefits of employee productivity, loyalty and retention.
Job sharing is an excellent way to get the work done while allowing more personal time for the two individual job partners. Do your homework, and when you’re ready, plug the pieces into your Job Sharing Proposal Package.