New forms of employment. Strategic employee sharing.

1.12.2016

A new Eurofound report (Eurofound (2016), New forms of employment: Developing the potential of strategic employee sharing, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg scrutinizes one of the new forms of employment – strategic employee sharing.

Employee sharing means that an individual worker is jointly hired by a group of employers to meet the HR need of the companies, resulting in permanent full-time employment for the worker. More than a form of employment, strategic employee sharing is a form of cooperative HR management at regional level.

Deviating from the traditional relationship between one employer and one employee, in the employee sharing structure, a group of employers forms a network with a separate legal entity (the ‘employer group’) that hires one worker to be sent on individual work assignments to the participating companies. Therefore, the employer group becomes the formal and single employer of the worker, but each company of the group shall ensure adequate working conditions, adapted to the requirements of the shared work.

The employer group becomes the formal and single employer of the workers and is responsible for:

  • fulfilling the duties related to the employment contract as regards payment, as well as administrative and social obligations;

  • coordinating the assignments of the worker in the participating companies;

  • setting out guidelines/codes of conduct for the cooperation of all involved parties;

  • acting as employer in relation to the authorities.

The individual companies are responsible for:

  • providing the workload for the shared worker;

  • arranging the work organization and ensuring adequate working conditions

  • ensuring health and safety for the shared worker.

The Eurofound report provides some examples of employee sharing, demonstrating that this new form of employment is successfully used by SMEs or public authorities.

E.g.

  • Basic+ is a Belgium employer group created in 2013 by several schools to share an accountant. In 2016, Basic+ comprises around one hundred schools and shares two accountants and three accident prevention advisors.

  • In France, the Groupement de l’Orb et de l’Herault is a multisectoral employer group established in 2003 as a response to the HR needs of the local small companies. The shared workers comprise, for example, administrative assistants as well as sector specific occupations such as sales staff, construction workers or technical specialists.