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Insider reports errors in sick leave system

Almost 5,300 out of a total 65,000 employees of the Municipal Administration of Vienna are currently on long-term sick leave.

"System errors are responsible for this", says an insider about the high number, suggesting the fact that the salaries are paid without any questions for years is one of the reason the employees don’t hurry to get back to their jobs.

The annual data from the Vienna officials and public employees shows that there are 1.4 million days of sick leave each year and the duration of the sick leave is increasing.

An insider at the Municipal Administration has concluded that there are three main errors in the system. One error is that while the salaries of the private employees are halved after six weeks of the sick leave and after ten weeks the salary is minimised to 830 euros per month for the living expenses, the salaries of the civil servants remain the same for years, which looks like an early pension.

Another error is that there is not enough information on whether the civil servants are really ill. Finally, the long-term sick leave before retirement affects the statistics of unemployment and early retirement and while the city government remains socially sympathetic to avoiding laying people off, critics argue that for the taxpayers this way is not the best one.

Sandra Frauenberger, the Staff Town Councillor, said: "All employees are experiencing more pressure in their work environment these days. The population of the city increases 20,000 people a year whilst the number of the people who manage it remains the same. This is also a reason why the number of people on sick leaves increases."

Mrs. Frauenberger now wants to recruits younger people, because the average age of the employees of the Municipal Administration of Vienna is 42 years old. She also stated that 27% of the people working there haven’t had a single day of sick leave over the years.

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