Occupation Mobility 

November, 2003 - Tiago Cortes

The amendments made to occupational mobility, also known as functional polyvalence, are quite significant and resorting to this mechanism has become more flexible. This matter, which was governed by Article 22 (rendering of work by the employee not included or object of his/her contract) of the Employment Contract Law, is now addressed by Article 151 (Performance of Duties), Article 152 (Effects on Remuneration) and Article 314 (Occupational Mobility) of the Code. Paragraph 3 of Article 151 sets forth that “the contracted work, regardless of being described by referral to the occupation category indicated in the collective bargaining instrument or the company’s internal regulations, shall include the related tasks or those that are functionally associated …”. Paragraph 3 goes on to add “related or functionally associated tasks shall be understood to be those pertaining to the same professional group or career”. On the other hand, the “extended duties”, which are included in the new concept of contracted work, may correspond to the employee’s main activity, contrary to what was established in the Employment Contract Law, under which these were ancillary. The performance of “extended duties” naturally confers on the employee the right to the highest pay for the corresponding category, but to be mentioned in light of its importance, is the abolition of the time limit of 6 months’ effective work, after which the employee was entitled to be moved up to the highest category to which such extended duties pertain. Indeed, in most cases this limitation was the main obstacle to resorting to this very important labour flexibility-generating mechanism. Lastly, reference should be made to the possibility of the employer requiring that the employee temporarily perform duties not included in his/her job description, provided that this does not involve any substantial change in his/her position. The order relating to the change of duties must contain a forecast of the length of time during which this change will apply, contrary to what the previous law provided. Tiago Cortes ([email protected])



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