Education minister promises to investigate “sick note fraud”

It’s the latest purge targeting the nation’s teachers and involves allegations that many are presenting “fraudulent sick notes”. Just in the district of Bragança alone there are 360 teachers “off sick”, reports local newspaper the Bragança messenger. It is a situation that is “sickening teachers” who are not ill and has lead Education minister Nuno Crato into affirming that all “irregular situations” will be properly investigated.

Only last year there were numerous complaints referring to the “existence of dozens of false sick notes passed by doctors”, writes national tabloid Correio da Manhã. The complaints were never followed up however. The unions “did not support” the idea of teachers denouncing their fellows.

Things changed after a group of Coimbra teachers set up a public petition, writes CM.

Since then, school directors have agreed that investigations should take place in “schools where there are an excessive number of teachers on what it known as ‘mobilidade por doença’.

Filinto Lima, of the association of public school directors, told CM that the doctors passing fraudulent sick notes should also be investigated.