Protests against COVID restrictions continue in central Italy

Italian man avoided turning up to work for 15 years, reports say

He is reportedly facing an investigation for fraud, extortion and abuse of office

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 22 April 2021 08:03

An Italian man is reported to have broken the national record for the longest stint of absenteeism after not turning up to his job for 15 years.

The man still took home wages for this job at a hospital in Calabria, southern Italy, despite never clocking an hour, according to local media.

He is reported to have received around €500,000 (£400,000) over the 15 years of absenteeism.

The man, in his 60s, is facing an investigation for fraud, extortion and abuse of office, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Six of his superiors at the hospital in Catanzaro are also reportedly being investigated over the incident.

His 15 years of absenteeism is a record, according to Il Corriere della Sera.

An investigation into events found the man made threats and intimidating colleagues in order to keep up his absenteeism and avoid disciplinary action, Italian media reported.

In 2005, the same year he was hired, he is reportedly accused of threatening a manager and their family.

It is not the first absenteeism scandal to hit Italy’s public sector, however.

Back in 2016, a town near Naples was forced to shut down most of its municipal operations after half of its town hall employees were arrested for skipping work.

During an investigation, staff were caught on film signing in before leaving to go about their day.

In the same year, figures suggested nearly quarter of the city of Rome’s employees were off work at any one time.

And in 2014, most of the Italian capital’s city police called in sick on New Year’s Eve - which led to criticism from the prime minister at the time.

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