Functional mobility


Functional mobility is the capacity by which the company assigns the worker functions other than those agreed upon at the time of hiring.

This type of mobility implies that the employee will perform tasks to which they are not used. These may be functions performed by their peers, their superiors, or even lower-ranking personnel (we will expand on this later).

Functional mobility is a figure contemplated in the law and must follow what is indicated in the Workers' Statute.

It should also be noted that in this article we will refer to Spanish regulations. Well, it may be that in other countries the rules are different or the figure of functional mobility is not developed in the law.

Characteristics of functional mobility

Among the characteristics of functional mobility, the following stand out:

  • It is a unilateral decision of the company, not an agreement between two parties.
  • It is a temporary measure. Otherwise, it would be a situation that would require a change in the contractual status of the employee.
  • It must respect the dignity of the worker. This is a subjective concept, and is related to the employee's own perception and the impact that functional mobility could have on their social relationships.
  • It must be a measure supported by structural or technical reasons. That is, the company's decision must respond, for example, to a restructuring of the organization.
  • The measure must be communicated to the union or the workers' association.
  • A worker to whom functional mobility was applied cannot be fired on the grounds that he has not adapted to his new functions, since these are tasks that he has not been developing regularly.

Types of functional mobility

The types of functional mobility can be basically two:

  • Horizontal or ordinary: The employee continues to perform functions corresponding to his professional group. Mobility was decided based on the preparation of the person. At this point, we must specify that a professional group is defined, according to the Workers' Statute, in the following way: “A professional group shall be understood to be the one that unitarily groups the professional aptitudes, qualifications and general content of the benefit, and may include different tasks, functions, professional specialties or responsibilities assigned to the worker ”.
  • Vertical or extraordinary: When the worker is assigned functions that correspond to a higher or lower professional group. This, provided that there are technical motivations that support said decision. For example, a reorganization of the firm in the face of a crisis. In turn, this can be subclassified into the following two subtypes:
    • Ascending: When they are in charge of functions of a higher professional group. The measure cannot exceed six months in a year, or eight months in a two-year reference period. If this period is exceeded, the worker could request a promotion, which would represent a change in working conditions and would no longer enter into the concept of functional mobility.
    • Descending: When the employee must perform functions of a lower professional group. It is an exceptional and temporary measure, although a time limit is not defined.

It should also be taken into account that the worker's salary could only be affected in the case of upward vertical mobility. Thus, you should receive the corresponding compensation that you should receive from being in a higher professional group.

However, if there were downward functional mobility, the employee could not see his remuneration reduced.

Examples of functional mobility

Some examples of functional mobility could be the following:

  • Alberto is part of the human resources area of ​​a company. Its main function is to be in charge of the evaluation of the performance of the personnel. However, exceptionally, and because the person in charge is on leave for health issues, they have asked him to call a group of new workers to make them sign their employment contract and give them some initial instructions as part of their admission to the organization. This would be the case of a horizontal or ordinary functional mobility.
  • Fabiana is one of the editors of the finance section of a local newspaper. Since her boss is on vacation this week, she has been commissioned to review (or edit) the articles in the section and organize the topics to be entrusted to the editors. This would be an example of upward vertical functional mobility.

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