Ius Variandi and downgrading in Italy:
Article 2103 of the Italian civil code lays down precise limits to the right of the employer to change the employee’s job in line with the enterprise’s changing organizational requirements.
This article stipulates that it must not result in any changes for the worse in the assignment of jobs or any reductions in pay and also that, in cases where employees are assigned to jobs of a higher grade, they are entitled to the pay corresponding to the work done and, after remaining in those jobs for a certain period of time which is fixed by collective agreement but not longer than three months (six months for professional and managerial staff ), to permanent recognition of the corresponding higher job classification level, unless the assignment has been made to replace an absent employee who has the right to return to his or her old job.
There is a demotion/downgrading in case of a reduction in the quality of a job so that it no longer matches the professional competence and status previously held and exercised by the worker.
Unless in very specific cases, workers are allowed to require to the Labor Judge to be reinstate in their former job position and they might ask damages regarding their professional image or health damages if the downgrading has provoked a physical and /or mental suffering (up to take the form of bullying).