Italian hospital worker allegedly skipped work for 15 years straight, received salary of RM2.7m over the years

Melanie Chalil
·2-min read
The man who works at a hospital in Italy’s Calabria region is being investigated for fraud, extortion and abuse of office.  —  Unsplash pic
The man who works at a hospital in Italy’s Calabria region is being investigated for fraud, extortion and abuse of office. — Unsplash pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — An Italian man earned the title of ‘king of absentees’ by local media when he was accused of not showing up to work for 15 years.

The shocking number of years is said to have broken the national record.

The hospital worker allegedly started skipping work at Ciaccio hospital in the southern city of Catanzaro in the Calabria region in 2005.

Italian media reported that he is now under investigation for fraud, extortion and abuse of office.

Despite his absenteeism, the man still received his salary, totalling €538,000 (RM2.7 million) over the years where he had stopped turning up to work.

Also being investigated in connection with the case are six managers at the hospital for enabling the man’s alleged absenteeism.

The police said the man was a civil servant who was assigned to work in the hospital in 2005.

It was at this point he stopped going into work, the police said.

Police added that the man threatened his manager when he had tried to stop her from lodging a disciplinary report against him.

The manager later retired and her successor and human resources failed to notice the employee’s ongoing absence.

The arrests are part of a larger police investigation into absenteeism and suspected fraud which is rife in the Italian public sector.

The Guardian reported that the Italian government tightened a law against idle workers in 2016 following several high-profile investigations that revealed the public sector’s rampant absenteeism.

Police have since caught 35 workers at Sanremo’s town hall who spent at least two years cheating the time management system and in a separate case, a traffic policeman was filmed clocking in at work in his underwear before going back to bed.

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