Transfer of workers in Italy:

The definitive transfer of workers from one workplace to another is strictly regulated by law. More specifically, article 2103 of the Italian Civil Code, amended by Article 13 of the Workers’ Statute, provides that an employee may not be transferred from one work/production unit to another except for “proven technical, organizational and production reasons“. Meaning by there, that a worker can be transferred only if the company can demonstrate:

  • The unnecessary presence of that worker in the unit of origin;
  • The need of this worker, with its particular expertise, in the unit of destination;
  • The seriousness of the reasons that forced the choice on that particular employee and not on other colleagues who carry out similar tasks.

All these reasons must be brought to the attention of the employee in writing, before the transfer. If the letter does not contain the above motivations than the employee must request them specifically.

The absence of the above conditions make the worker(s) transfer unlawful and may be revoked by the Labor Judge, to which the applicant must address if he/she considers that the worker transfer is unlawful.

Article 22 of the Workers Statute lays down, in addition, that union representatives of plant-level union structures may be transferred from the work/production unit in which they work only with the prior consent of the relevant unions. At the same time, whereas in the case of employees in general the idea of what constitutes a transfer is interpreted in geographical and topographical terms (although biased towards protecting employees’ interests as regards the stability of their place of abode and family life), in the case of union leaders it is given a narrower interpretation, and even covers a mere change of job or (work)shop/department such as might impair their capacity to carry out their trade union duties.

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