Work Sharing during the Great Recession
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Work Sharing during the Great Recession

New Developments and Beyond

Edited by Jon C. Messenger and Naj Ghosheh

‘Work sharing’ is a labour market instrument devised to distribute a reduced volume of work to the same (or similar) number of workers over a diminished period of working time in order to avoid redundancies. This fascinating and timely study presents the concept and history of work sharing and explores the complexities and trade-offs involved in its use as both a strategy for preserving jobs and a policy for increasing employment.
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Chapter 6: Results of the implementation of the suspension and partial unemployment insurance programmes in Uruguay, 2009–2010

María José González Fernández


Two worker retention and work-sharing programmes were used in Uruguay to address the contraction in labour demand by companies affected by the global crisis that began in 2008. These programmes are components of the general unemployment insurance subsidy scheme. The mechanism known as ‘partial unemployment insurance’ (PUI), on the one hand, is a subsidy granted in cases where there is a partial suspension of the worker’s activities (a reduction in the number of hours worked in the week and devoted to training). Created in 2009, it targeted specific sectors and companies affected by the crisis. On the other hand, since the introduction of unemployment insurance in 1981 there has been a subsidy available for cases of full suspension of a worker’s activities during the month. All companies and economic sectors were eligible for the subsidy. Considering all the forms of subsidy for full or partial suspension of activities that were used as work-sharing subsidies, a monthly average of 0.7 per cent of private sector salaried workers participated in these programmes in the period studied (June 2009–December 2010), which is equal in turn to 30 per cent of the beneficiaries of unemployment insurance for dismissal over that same period.

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