Lateral Transfers

Lateral Transfers

The Institute encourages lateral movement to a different job within the same level or grade when appropriate. Such movement not only helps an organization through cross-training, but it also offers employees development opportunities to broaden their knowledge and enhance their professional growth.

The Process

  • Where required, obtain approval from the designated senior administrator to ensure that established procedures within a department or school are followed.
  • Consult with Compensation and/or your Human Resources Officer for guidance in making an informed decision before discussing any salary change with an employee.
  • Lateral transfers should not necessitate an increase, however review the guidelines and “key considerations” (below) in determining whether a salary increase is appropriate.
  • If it is determined that an increase is appropriate, consider internal equity when factoring the amount of the increase.


  • Not all lateral movements warrant a salary adjustment.

    Example: When the new position is clearly at the same level of responsibility as the position the employee is leaving, no increase would be warranted.

    Example: When the volume of the work in the new position increases, but responsibilities of the position essentially remain the same, no increase would be warranted.

  • However, when it is determined that the position the employee is transferring to requires new and/or additional skills and is more complex than the position the employee is transferring from, an increase may be appropriate. The hiring manager/department administrative officer should be able to describe those new skills and/or how the job differs in complexity.

    Example: An employee's current job may not include financial and budget responsibilities; however, they may be a regular part of the new job.

    In this case, a pay increase, typically up to 5%, may be considered.

Key Considerations

  • Describe how the complexity of the new position is more significant than the employee’s previous position.
  • How will the employee be expected to negotiate, set his/her own standards and goals, and/or manage or coach (either formally or informally) at a greater level than in his/her previous position?
  • Explain what type of decision making will be required in the new job and whether the consequences will be greater.
  • How will the new position require higher levels of independent action and autonomy?