Why should Short-Time  Compensation Programs (aka Work Sharing - Kurzarbeit - RHT) Include some Job Sharing Elements?  

Dear Readers,

The COVID-19 crisis made us realize that we are all in it together – we have shared our resources, competencies and skills to reduce the spread of the virus. Nobody can predict where this world crisis is taking us, but one important aspect is apparent: the world is discovering or perhaps rediscovering new ways to overcome this challenge.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, more than 1,900,000 employees (as validated by the Cantonal offices) in Switzerland have participated in the government-sponsored work sharing program (Réduction de l’horaire de travail /RHT in French, Kurzarbeit in German).This number represents one third of the total Swiss workforce, see infos unibas on work sharing in Switzerland.
Work sharing is an important tool to avoid immediate massive layoffs during this dire situation.  Due to so many employees in short-time compensation programs it is likely that a significant number will end up losing their jobs in the medium term. 
In our view such job-preserving measures should therefore be accompanied by a strategic vision for the medium and long terms, as otherwise it will be difficult to find a balance on the labour market and, above all, a fair distribution of employment in the post COVID-19 period. 
One of the main challenges of the medium term situation will be the diverse levels of skills and competencies among the unemployed population or people in unstable work situations. Even before the crisis, Switzerland was facing various challenges (difficulties in integrating precariously unemployed, vulnerable workers into the labour market and the challenges of highly skilled unemployed people 50 and older). Various lobby groups have emerged in recent years to include these important topics in the political agenda.
What should be anticipated by providing Work Sharing (RHT / Kurzarbeit)?
In many countries work sharing/ RHT/ Kurzarbeit is widely offered to avoid massive layoffs. This tool has a long history and was applied for the first time after the Great Recession. In Canada, work sharing includes interesting elements which go further than typical “RHT/ Kurzarbeit” by sharing work equally and sharing competencies, such as: 
  1. “Work units for the programme do not have to include all employees in a company but should include all employees who perform similar functions.   Time schedules should also be relatively balanced in order to ensure that the work available is, as much as practical, shared equally amongst the members of the work sharing unit.
  2. Work units must have at a minimum two employees.
  3. All members of a work sharing unit must agree to reduce their normal work hours and to share the available work. If, during the period of the work sharing agreement, work activity increases, the additional hours of work must be shared equally among all members of the unit.
  4. Employers and employees are encouraged to look for opportunities to include formal or informal training activities into the scheduled Work Sharing days.  These training activities can focus on upgrading the skills of employees to meet forecasted skill needs to support the employers recovery plans, to prepare workers for upward mobility within the company as business returns to normal or in the worst case scenario prepare the workers for jobs outside the company should the downward trend continue”, see Eligibility Criteria, Sources Gov. Canada and ILO Work Sharing
These specific conditions are important as they deal with effective elements of sharing work and more specifically of exchanging competencies and skills. The fact that formal and informal training activities should be provided shows the importance attributed to personal development and knowledge transfer. These assets are essential to let professional people remain active in the labour market or to reintegrate them once they lost their jobs.  
On the other hand, job and top sharing are flexible working models which aim at allowing professionals to work part-time in positions that are both engaging and that utilize their extensive experience and expertise. Job sharing refers to two or more employees sharing a full-time position with inter-dependent tasks and joint responsibility. Top sharing is a job sharing in positions with a high-level of responsibility, including the management of co-workers. Both concepts have nothing to do with economic slowdown or employment crisis. Job sharing was introduced in the 70s and became more and more interesting for all generations of workers and employees looking for flexible work arrangements in the last years. In addition, it helps to increase the competencies among job sharers through a constant knowledge exchange.
We believe that work sharing should include some elements of job sharing such as knowledge transfer, sharing skills and competencies, re-evaluating full-time equivalent, cross-training and performing at a greater productivity level while using the complementary competencies of both job and top sharing partners. 
This was what Colin Dunne, senior principal at Korn Ferry Hay Group in Calgary commented on during the 2016 gas and oil sector crisis: “Companies that have done some good work on talent management and they really know their people have an advantage because they can pick out which ones have the knowledge and the ability to be able to work in that type of environment [job sharing] — which is very different because not only do you have to do the job, but you also have to co-operate and collaborate.”, see Dunne 2016
We recommend that companies which applied for work sharing should focus on the experience provided by job and top sharing teams and reinforce their understanding and knowledge about this model of work. Information exchanges, peer trainings, skills reinforcement are all aspects that are fundamental to allow an optimisation of the work sharing instrument in a medium term perspective. This could also lead to substantial internal changes in the organisational structure within companies.
As mentioned by a study by the ILO:
Work sharing is not a magic “silver bullet”. However, it can be one of a number of measures which help to promote increased employment, improved work–life balance, more sustainable enterprises and economies, and ultimately, more equitable societies.
For all business leaders dealing today with work sharing, we highly recommend to visit our platforms on job and top sharing for a better understanding of such models of flexible work.
See and

Best wishes for health and success,

Your PTO Association (Part-Time Optimisation) in Switzerland and Emily’s Path Consulting in Canada 

Working online from everywhere  

PTO Association mainly works remotely from different locations all over Switzerland. We are able to offer most of our services online. We are therefore pleased to continue supporting and helping you in discovering the job and top sharing advantages and challenges, contact us at
We Jobshare find your professional partner virtually 

We are also fortunate to manage a complete virtual platform MATCHING PEOPLE who plan to share competences and look for job sharing at work (employees and self-employed people). We Jobshare is Switzerland’s first match making platform for job and top sharing. The website is growing rapidly and remains dedicated to connecting a multi-diversified audience. was completely redesigned and thanks to new ALGORITHMS you can find quicker a partner with complementary or similar competences and skills increasing your probability of being hired in a new position. 
And it is completely FREE for you to create your profile and look for a partner.
If you are looking for a professional job and top sharing partner simply create an account and then you can have access to several professional partners options.
To ensure the best chances of job sharing employability, we now provide services to help you assess the COMPATIBILITY of your duo. Please feel free to contact us at for more information.
Our next job and top sharing MEET UP in Biel

Our job and top sharing meet up in Biel will take place in Biel on September 10, 2020. Please have a look at our PROGRAM. 

During this meet up you will find out how job sharing works, what it could mean for you and how to find a professional partner. You can ask questions and meet potential partners in round table discussions and participate to a fun and interactive SPEED-DATING. 
The event is BILINGUAL, German and French.
Women and men of all ages who are interested in job and top sharing, i.e. employers, freelancers, HR, recruitment, agencies and job seekers are participating in this event.

Please don’t forget to REGISTER here.
Association PTO, the Swiss Job Sharing Experts. Our website provides comprehensive information for both employers and employees. Discover everything you need to know about job sharing there.
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