Special Job-sharing regulation – a Promoter of Flexible Working?
The need for additional flexibility and the search for ‘tailor-made’ employment relationships have given rise to new forms of employment all over Europe. Discussions on national level are held about whether and how to integrate emerging new forms of employment into national labour law. Some European Union countries where the new forms of employment have emerged in a larger extent or been evident for a longer time have inserted specific provisions in their national labour legislation. At the same time, many of the EU member states where new forms of employment are practised lack such specific regulation, and standard labour regulation is applied there when new forms of employment are used. The situation leads to a question as to whether the basic labour regulation is sufficient and clear enough to make the application of new forms of employment effective.
The paper explores whether it is possible to determine, by proceeding from the example of job‑sharing (as a new form of work) and Estonian labour law, whether the absence of special job-sharing regulation on national level precludes or unreasonably restrains opportunities for parties to an employment relationship to increase the flexibility and enter into a job-sharing regime, in comparison to those countries where special job-sharing regulation exists.
Comparative analysis that considers Italian, German, Slovakian, Hungarian, and Lithuanian job-sharing regulations enables covering the theme from the perspective of all existing national normative sources available in the EU. References to all of the job-sharing regulations and practices of EU countries where job-sharing is specifically stipulated help to offer solutions for the problems detected with regard to this research area. The results presented in the article enable other Member States to decide on the necessity of special job‑sharing regulation.