Italian hospital employee accused of skipping work for 15 years - earning £464,000 while absent

He was reportedly paid €538,000 (£464,000) in total

A hospital employee in Italy has been accused of skipping work for 15 years despite receiving full pay, according to Italian police.

The man, 67, described in Italian media reports as the "king of absentees", is alleged to have stopped showing up for work in 2005 at the Pugliese Ciaccio hospital in Catanzaro, southern Italy.

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He was reportedly paid €538,000 (£464,000) in total over the following 15 years.

The man was described in Italina media reports as the "king of absentees" (Photo by Gianluca Chininea / AFP) (Photo by GIANLUCA CHININEA/AFP via Getty Images)

He is now being investigated for fraud, extortion and abuse of office, according to Italian news agency Ansa.

Six managers at the hospital are also under investigation in connection with his alleged absenteeism.

The man is alleged to have threatened the hospital director to stop her from taking disciplinary measures against him, according to police.

That director then retired and his absence went undetected by her successor or human resources.

The arrests are the result of a police investigation into absenteeism and suspected fraud in the public sector in Italy.