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Employee skips work for six years

BY Heather Kemmett
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

It would be nice if we didn’t have to turn up at work but could still pick up our paycheque every month, wouldn’t it? If only no-one would notice our absence…

Well, that’s exactly what happened to Spanish employee Joaquin Garcia who missed work for at least six years. The civil servant was employed by a water company run by the local authority to supervise the building of a waste water treatment plant in Cadiz. His absence went unnoticed by the water company who thought he was supervised by the local authority. Conversely, the local authority believed he was under the control of the water company.

Meanwhile, Mr Garcia reportedly spent his days reading philosophy, until his scam was rumbled when he became eligible for… wait for it… a long-service award! His employer sued him to claw back his six year salary payments and was awarded a year’s salary, the maximum amount that the court was permitted to order in the circumstances. It was good while it lasted, Joaquin!


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