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ABSENTEEISM GONE WILD: Man doesn’t show up for work for six years, wins company award.

Posted on: February 24th, 2016 | Category: Employee Relations, Our Blog

Absenteeism and HR - myHR BlogYes. You read that headline correctly. We can’t make this stuff up, folks.

In a case of absenteeism gone wild, The Local reports that a civil servant in Spain did not show up to work for six whole years, and nobody noticed apparently, even as he continued to collect his paycheck each month. Nobody. For six years.


Had it not been for the guy being presented with a commemorative plaque for “20 years of loyal service,” he might still be MIA in the workplace—and still earning his salary today. From The Local:

“We thought that he had been supervised by the water company but that was not the case,” local deputy mayor Jorge Blas Fernández, who originally given him the job, told El Mundo.

He had been sent by the city council to oversee the building of a waste-water treatment plant in the southwestern city, but records show that [Joaquín] García had not turned up for work since 2004.

The 69-year-old García is now retired, and was forced to pay a fine that was less than one year of his salary at the time he was discovered to be a no-show. Not a bad deal, all things considered.

“This is such an extreme example of a complete lack of systems and overall management by his employer,” says Tina Hamilton, PHR, president of myHR Partner. “This case goes way beyond the problems of absenteeism, because if this one person was able to get away with literally not being accountable for anything for over 6 years, you can only imagine what else is going on in that department while management is not paying attention.”

Hamilton adds that while you don’t want to be a helicopter boss, you do want to have some system in place to check in on how your team members are doing, and also have some way to instill accountability of managers. “Part of your responsibility as an executive is to assure your managers, are truly performing their roles. A solid system should be in place to grade their overall performance as managers, she says.

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