A public sector worker referred to as the "king of absentees" is said to have broken the national record by skipping work for 15 years and still managing to get paid.

According to the Italian police, the hospital employee earned a total salary of €538,000 ($ 648306.14) despite not showing up to work at Pugliese Ciaccio hospital in the Calabrian city of Catanzaro since 2005.

The 57-year-old is now being investigated for fraud, extortion, and abuse of office, Italian news agency Ansa reports.
 
The alleged fraud came to light following a lengthy police operation codenamed Part-Time. 
 
Six managers at the hospital are also currently being investigated for their involvement with the alleged absenteeism.

The employee, who has not been named, is also accused of threatening his manager to stop her from reporting his absenteeism.
 
The manager later retired, Italian police said, and the alleged fraud was never noticed by the new manager or human resources.
 
After noticing the increasing trend in absenteeism in the public sectors, the Italian government in 2016  tightened a law against the slackers.

During the investigation, police nabbed 35 workers at Sanremo’s town hall after they were caught in surveillance cameras cheating the time management system. The fraud had been going on for at least two years, police said.

The wives of two of the employees were caught on cam using their husband’s entry cards to log in on their behalf. Some other staff members were spotted clocking in before going on vacation, shopping, or out with friends.

In another investigation, a traffic police officer who lived in the same building he worked was caught on cam clocking on in his underwear before returning to his bed.


In 2016, the mayor of Boscotrecase shut down most of the municipal services in the country after almost half of the staff members were suspended for absenteeism — including an employee who tried to hide his identity by putting a cardboard box over his head before clocking in for work.

Handcuffs Representational image. Creative Commons