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An employee of France’s national rail operator SNCF has revealed being paid €5,000 (£3,550) after tax, per month to do absolutely “nothing” for 12 years!

Charles Simon, the employee, has filed for “compensation”, saying the sinecure put the brakes on his promising career

He told French media that his employer took him off his day job in 2003 after he blew the whistle on a case of suspected fraud worth €20 million. Since then he has received €5,000 per month net while staying at home with the status “available” for work. “Each month I receive a new salary statement and a bank transfer. Last month, just like every year in June, I also received a bonus of €600 for the holidays” he told BFM TV.


He said he alerted his managers, but was promptly moved from his role, but not given a new one

Whilst waiting at home, he wrote to, the president of the SNCF, asking for compensation. “I am asking for recognition for the wrong this has caused me because if I hadn’t been sidelined, I could have had a fine career,” he said. He added that he hoped his predicament as a “whistleblower’ would help others placed in “the cupboard” and given a sinecure.

What can you do about whistleblowing…

“Aim for an open culture where issues can be raised constructively and dealt with promptly and fairly. Achieve this, and you minimise other negative consequences of whistleblowing: anonymous leaks; bad publicity; costs and compensation; lengthy investigations; litigation; and regulatory inspections,” says Katherine Graham, CMP’s Managing Director.

The actions you can take, following the Francis Report Freedom to speak up, can be divided into three groups:

  1. High-level
  2. Operational
  3. Review and reporting

Momentum for implementing whistleblowing systems and embedding an open culture is gathering pace: The Francis Report, and the PRA and FCA joint consultation, are just two high-profile examples.  Implementing the necessary changes means creating an open culture and making responsibility for good practice widespread This will lead to fewer claims under PIDA – and more energy and activity for developing the performance of your business.

Download our free guide!

Whistleblowing - what to do about it COVER

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