High absenteeism at Rome transport company

960 employees missing from work each day.

An average of over 1,200 employees of Rome's transport company ATAC fail to show up for work for two months each year, according to a report in the capital's daily newspaper Il Messaggero

The figures from the company's latest report on absenteeism exclude holidays and weekly days off, and only take into account sick days and special leave.

The news comes two days after ATAC fired four drivers who between them clocked up more than 900 absent days between January 2013 and April this year.

The bus sector is the worst affected in ATAC which also operates the city's metro and light rail service. Out of its 6,912 bus employees, there is an absentee rate of almost 14 per cent, meaning that each day 960 bus drivers do not present for work.

The 1,856 workers employed on the metro and light rail lines fare a little better than their bus colleagues, recording absenteeism rates of 11 per cent.

The troubled transport company, which has long been plagued by absenteeism, debt and accusations of corruption, recently introduced new work contracts which reward the most productive employees and penalise those with poor attendance records.