French rail worker 'paid £3,550 a month to stay at home and do nothing for 12 years'

Charles Simon claims he was not given a new role by SNCF after he blew the whistle on its subsidiary company in 2003

Hardeep Matharu
Sunday 16 August 2015 01:33 BST
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Charles Simon claims SNCF has paid him to stay at home for 12 years
Charles Simon claims SNCF has paid him to stay at home for 12 years

A man employed by France’s national rail operator SNCF has revealed he is suing the company after being paid to stay at home and do nothing for the last 12 years.

Charles Simon said he is being paid £3,550 a month to remain idle even though he continues to be employed by SNCF.

He said he has filed a complaint for compensation because the situation had stopped him from progressing his career.

According to the Daily Telegraph, he told French media that SNCF took him off his day job in 2003 after he blew the whistle on a suspected €20m fraud case.

At the time, Mr Simon had been working for Geodis Solutions, a SNCF subsidiary, which handles transport logistics.

Since that time, he claims he has received £3,550 a month to sit at home with the status “available” for work.

“Each month I receive a new salary statement and a bank transfer,” he told BFM TV.

“Last month, just like every year in June, I also received a bonus of €600 for the holidays.”

Mr Simon said he told his managers about the suspected fraud, but claims he was moved from Geodis back to SNCF, where he was given no new post.

He said he instead stayed at home and continued to be paid the same monthly wage.

“I am asking for recognition for the wrong this has caused me because if I hadn’t been sidelined, I could have had a fine career,” he is reported as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

When contacted by French newspaper Le Point, SNCF confirmed that Mr Simon was employed by it and had already made a request for damages.

SNCF said this was rejected by the Paris workers’ tribunal in 2011 and that it would not be commenting further because it had a continued “contractual link” to Mr Simon.

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