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Italian hospital worker continued to be paid for 15 years despite being absent from work

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

The Guardian reports the case of a hospital employee in the Calabrian city of Catanzaro who continued to be paid a monthly salary totalling around £464,000 despite being absent from work for 15 years.

The man, 67, described in Italian media reports as the “king of absentees”, allegedly stopped showing up for work in 2005 at the Pugliese Ciaccio hospital in Catanzaro, southern Italy. He is now being investigated for fraud, extortion and abuse of office, according to Italian news agency Ansa.

Six managers at the hospital are also under investigation in connection with his alleged absenteeism. The man is alleged to have threatened the hospital director to stop her from taking disciplinary measures against him, according to police.

The director then retired and the man’s absenteeism continued unabated because his attendance was never checked by the director’s successor or the human resources department, police said.

In 2016 the government tightened a law against the workshy after several high-profile police investigations revealed just how rampant absenteeism was across the public sector.

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