A Spanish worker who didn’t show up for six years was rumbled when he failed to collect ‘long-service award’.
A Spanish civil servant in Cádiz has been fined €27,000 (£21,000) after he was exposed for failing to turn up for his duties for more than six years.
Joaquin Garcia, who was employed as a government-paid supervisor on the construction of a waste water treatment plant, was only discovered after he couldn’t be tracked down after qualifying for a 20 year long service award.
The boss of Aguas de Cádiz, the public utilities company where Garcia worked, said he had not seen him for years despite having offices facing each other.
His absence wasn’t discovered due to a mix up between the water company and the local authorities, both believing the other had responsibility for supervising him.
Legal proceedings began back in 2010, alleging that he hadn’t performed any work since 2004.
The 69 year old denied the claims, saying he turned up to work but found that there was nothing for him to do. When asked why he did not raise the issue, Mr Garcia sad he had a family to support and was worried he wouldn’t be able to find another job.
Garcia also insisted he was a victim of bullying stemming from his family’s political views. He claimed his appointment to the water company was a move to keep his out of the way.
Some colleagues had said Garcia did occasionally come into the office but never for the duration of a full working day. He was reportedly said to have dedicated himself to the study of philosophy.
A court dismissed his explanation and ruled in the authority’s favour.
Mr Garcia was fined the equivalent of 12 month’s salary after tax, the most by law the firm could reclaim.
He did not lose his job as he had already retired.