Research Paper Nottingham Trent University Discussion Papers in Economics 2013/1
Is it good to share? Debating patterns in availability and use of job share
This article investigates job share, specifically considering current availability and use of this flexible working arrangement. Empirical analysis is conducted on waves 11-19 (2000-2010) of the British Household Panel Survey and wave 2 (2010-11) of Understanding Society. The evidence is indicative of job share remaining a marginal work-life balance policy, but one which has specific uses in providing flexibility for certain groups, including working mothers. Differences between availability and use, however, suggest job share may be perceived as a ‗last resort‘ by employees, although this disparity could reflect divergence in employer attitudes to availability (being seen as engaging in 'good' HR practice) and use (generating substantial ‗costs‘). This may prevent expansion of the use of job share, for example to ameliorate unemployment. There remain questions, though, regarding whether limited use is a result of institutional barriers driven by business case arguments, or the practical limitations of current job share constructs.