n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Jobsharing : An alternative to layoffs and unemployment in South Africa?

Volume 25, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



South Africa is characterised among other things by retrenchments and high levels of unemployment which have ripple effects on the well being of the nation at large. South Africans cannot afford to postpone finding empirical and practical solutions to these problems. This article presents the results of a study on job-sharing which provides a practical alternative solution to these problems. The primary aim of this study is to explain how job-sharing would be an appropriate and feasible solution to unemployment and retrenchments. Job-sharing has been used in many developed countries to address a variety of problems at the individual, organisational and national levels. This practice includes increasing employment opportunities and serves as an alternative to retrenchments (layoffs). The literature survey shows that unemployment and retrenchment problems are prevalent in Africa as a whole and in South Africa specifically. The results of a survey conducted among the employees, organisations and jobseekers (the unemployed seeking employment) in South Africa which had a 77% response rate (out of 730 respondents) reveal that 68% of the jobseekers are willing to job-share and approximately 80% of the employees would rather either job-share, work-share or opt for some other alternative than have retrenchments. The results of this study indicate that, job-sharing would address the problems relating to fewer employment opportunities, as well as massive retrenchments in South Africa.

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