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The logic of job-sharing in the provision and delivery of health care.

  • Branine, M
Published Article
Journal of management in medicine
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
PMID: 10185761


By definition the practice of job-sharing starts from the premiss that there is a full-time job to be shared by those who want to balance their work with other commitments. In a public sector institution, such as the National Health Service (NHS), where most employees are female, it seems logical to believe that a job-sharing policy would be able to promote equal opportunities, to increase employee job satisfaction and to reduce labour costs. Hence, this paper attempts to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a job-sharing policy, and to analyse the reasons for the limited number of job-sharers in the NHS despite the apparent benefits of job-sharing to both the employees and the employer. This study was carried out in 15 NHS Trusts in northern England and Scotland, by the use of questionnaires and interviews, and found that most NHS managers did not see the practice of job-sharing as a major cost-saving opportunity or as a working pattern that would enhance employee satisfaction and commitment. They saw job-sharing as just a routine equal opportunities request which did not deserve such managerial attention or long-term strategic thinking. It is argued in this paper that job-sharing is a potentially useful option against a background of demographic and other social and economic changes which require the development and use of long-term strategic policies. Therefore, it is concluded that, in the NHS, there is a need for a more active and creative approach to job-sharing, rather than the reactive and passive approach that has dominated the practice so far.

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