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UK Government must reduce cost of job sharing for employers

08 Jul UK Government must reduce cost of job sharing for employers

Twenty-one Parliamentarians and NGOs have today called on the UK Government to make job sharing a mainstream working practice.

Backing an open letter, MP Margaret Hodge joins Caroline Nokes in urging the Government to introduce a reduction on employer’s National Insurance contributions for employees in job sharing roles.

With just 123,000 people in a job share role in the UK, the letter says that a reduction in National Insurance will incentivise employers to introduce job sharing roles by eliminating the associated cost that can be seen as prohibitive.

During the pandemic, mothers are 1.5 times more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs since the start of lockdown[1] and a third of working mothers have reduced their hours due to a lack of childcare during this time.[2]

Job sharing is a form of flexible-working where one role is split between two people, offering more opportunities for promotion than traditional part-time work. This is particularly beneficial for working parents or carers, with commitments that prevent them from undertaking full-time work.

The group of signatories represents an opportunity for the Government to back this form of flexible working with a financial incentive, giving more people access to job sharing roles by removing the prohibitive costs that have held back employers.

Led by women empowerment group, Empower, the letter argues that job sharing promotes a healthy work life balance for employees and helps to close the gender pay gap that has widened due to the pandemic.

The letter notes that an increased uptake in job sharing would benefit working women, men, parents, carers and their employers. Post-Covid, the majority of workers will be seeking job flexibility with 70 percent of employees saying that flexible working makes a job more attractive to them[3].

Jacqui Smith, Chair of Empower, said: “The pandemic has disproportionately affected women since it began and many mothers were faced with an increase in responsibilities outside of their fulltime employment. Job sharing is the solution to many of the issues working mothers face, enabling a work life balance while retaining women in senior positions with equal access to career progression.

“The Government must now facilitate job sharing to become a mainstream working practice by introducing cost incentives, considering the needs of working parents in their post-Covid recovery plan.”