Imagine being on sick leave and doing absolutely no work for your employer for the past 15 years while still taking your juicy salary.
Well, a worker who is enjoying more than that still took his employer to court, arguing that his salary was not increased since he started his leave.
Ian Clifford, an IT specialist with American software company, IBM said inflation has eroded the £54,000 ($67,500) yearly salary among other benefits that he has been receiving since 2008, which cumulatively amount to £15million for the 15 years he has not worked for his employer.
The enviable benefit he receives is reportedly part of a disability plan that the company placed him on without expecting him to work for it till he retires or dies.
It is reported that Clifford started working for the American software company Lotus Development in 2000, five years after it had been acquired by IBM.
Then, in September of 2008, he went on sick leave until 2013 when he complained about his holiday allowance for the period between 2008 and 2013 as well as his salary not being increased.
Out of generosity, IBM decided to put Clifford on its disability plan which includes a regular salary for no work done till he dies or retires.
Because of the disability plan, Clifford has been paid 75 percent of his agreed salary of £72,037 (£54,028) for the last 15 years in addition to £8,685, which is his holiday allowance for 2013.
Despite all the above-stated benefits, Clifford is not satisfied; he went to a UK employment court recently to sue IBM.
“The point of the plan was to give security to employees not able to work – that was not achieved if payments were forever frozen,” he argued.
He further claimed that the treatment by IBM amounted to disability discrimination.
However, after listening to the full details of the matter, Judge Paul Housego dismissed the case, saying Clifford was being ungrateful to his employer who was rather being generous to him.
“This contention is not sustainable because only the disabled can benefit from the plan. It is not disability discrimination that the Plan is not even more generous. “Even if the value of the £50,000 a year halved over 30 years, it is still a very substantial benefit. It is more favourable treatment, not less,” the judge is quoted to have said.
When the case made news headlines, it sparked many reactions, with many people agreeing with Judge Housego’s ruling.