THE case of a ‘work-shy’ government worker has divided opinion across Spain, after it was revealed he has been paid in full despite being away from his desk for 12 out of the last 15 years.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, receives a monthly salary of €1,500 after being employed as a nursing assistant at the Doctor Esquerdo psychiatric hospital in Alicante.

His story came to light after it was revealed he had been on sick leave for over 4,000 days between 2001 and 2006.

Further to his extensive sick leave, the employee avoided more work by taking his legally contracted holiday.

“Yes, it is legal, even if ethically and morally it may not seen so,” Alejandro Moral, a provincial official told the press.

“We’ve even tried everything from a legal standpoint – we even started disciplinary proceedings against him.”

However, the employee won every legal battle he’s faced, including a court case in which he managed to prove that the National Institute for Social Security did not properly notify him that he was due back at his post following a period of sick leave.

On seven occasions, the employee took sick leave for a year, with three of these instances stretching to a year and a half, the maximum permitted by Spanish law.

The workers condition cannot be revealed legally but his doctors have signed him off on all his sick leaves without issue.

To attempt to resolve the situation his employers are now attempting to secure him permanent disability leave so he can be taken off their books once and for all.