Teacher finally sacked after avoiding going to work for 20 years

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The teacher relied on sick leave and holiday to avoid teaching her students

How long do you think you could skive off work for before you start to get into trouble? A week? Two? How about twenty years?

It might sound ridiculous, but apparently it can be done. Just ask Cinzia Paolina De Lio.

Cinzia Paolina De Lio was supposed to teach philosophy and literature.


She’s the woman who’s earned the unfortunate title of ‘Italy’s worst employee’ after successfully avoiding work for two decades, before she was finally sacked from her school this year.

De Lio had been hired to teach at the secondary school near Venice, where she was supposed to fill her students’ minds with everything they needed to know about literature and philosophy.

Now, we all have those days where we feel like we need a break, and sometimes the idea of facing a day at work is just too much to bare. It’s not unusual, but with responsibilities and bills to pay, most of us still spend the majority of the year doing the job we’re paid for.

Not De Lio, though.

The teacher is said to have used sick leave, holiday time and permits to attend conferences to avoid giving lessons at the school, and on the rare occasions she did turn up, she didn’t do a very good job of educating the students.

It was on one of her days in the classroom that she caught the attention of school inspectors, who described her lessons as ‘confused’, according to The Times, and accused De Lio of having improvised her teachings.

Cinzia Paolina De Lio was finally fired after 20 years.


Further cause for concern came when De Lio’s pupils went on strike, refusing to take part in the lessons after the teacher went on her phone and sent text messages while conducting oral exams, and confused the class by handing out marks that had no relation to the work students had given her.

To top off her inadequate performance, De Lio had to borrow textbooks from her pupils because she had forgotten her own materials.

De Lio was sacked by the school for her behaviour, but she took the case to court and managed to get her job back.

Don’t get any ideas, though, because De Lio’s casual approach to her career came back to bite her when the court realised she’d only been present in the class for four years out of 24.

The court reversed its decision to give De Lio her job back, and the move was backed by the supreme court.

Journalists attempted to contacted De Lio in the wake of her firing, The Times reports, but she was unable to comment on the situation because she was busy – at the beach.

De Lio briefly told Repubblica [translated] : “Sorry but now I’m at the beach”, she said adding: “I will reconstruct the truth of the facts of this absolutely unique and surreal story”.

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