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Occupational mobility: definition and characteristics

Updated on January 16, 2011

      It is increasingly common to offer employees a job in another region, particularly in corporate restructuring or as part of a promotion. Occupational mobility, sometimes imposed by the employer, may also be an employee choice.

Occupational mobility: definition and characteristics

It is increasingly common to offer employees a job in another region, particularly in corporate restructuring or as part of a promotion. Occupational mobility, sometimes imposed by the employer, may also be an employee choice.

Definition of mobility

Career mobility is for an employee to change jobs and / or grade in the same occupational field or another. It should not be confused with the geographic mobility that these two concepts are often linked.

The term "mobility" can cover various types of job changes:
• change of position without change schools
• change school within the same company
• transition from one company to another.

The patterns of job mobility

Occupational mobility may be an employee choice, wanting to get better pay, better working conditions or a new position.

It can also be given if required by the employer, for example:
• on promotion conditional acceptance to change workplace
• during a relocation or restructuring of the company (merger, consolidation activities ...).

Occupational and geographic mobility provides opportunities for career development and social advancement. In some cases it is for the employee protection against loss of employment.

The mobility clause

The mobility clause is a clause by which an employee agrees in advance to change their workplace. This clause is often included in the employment contract, but may also be included in the collective agreement.

This clause requires the employee to accept the job mobility, unless the industrial tribunal considers that this clause is totally unjustified or that the employer has abused.

Note: for the clause to be applicable it is necessary that the employee has been informed of its existence at the time of hire.

Even when the employment contract does not include mobility clause, an employee can not refuse a transfer to another institution if it is located in the same geographical area or the same labor pool.

Indeed, it is then a simple change in working conditions and employee's refusal may lead to his dismissal for cause real and serious.

If the employee accepts the transfer, nothing requires the employer to compensate the costs associated with this mobility (moving expenses, for example).


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