At the end of last September, the Ministry of Labor presented an anti-fraud plan to the Social Security Collaborating Mutual Societies to review about 64,000 cases of sick leave and certify their medical justification. Labor absenteeism, according to the latest data from the Association of Mutual Societies of Work Accidents (AMAT), increased by 5% in the year 2017, surpassing the 4.5 million cases of temporary disability. And although the majority of sick leave is justified, fraud, which has been increasing as the crisis progressed, worries companies. So much so that it has completely transformed the profession of the private detective.
In Spain they operate something more than 2,000 of these professionals, a profession regulated and certified by the Ministry of the Interior. Or at least those are the licenses that are currently in force. "We are in the security sector because of unfair competition, fraud, industrial espionage or an unjustified low can ruin a company. It is not a whim, it is an important service so that business rights are not violated ", explains Javier Regidor, director of the detective office JR Bailly-Bailliere and member of the board of directors of the Professional Association of Private Detectives of Spain (APDPE) .
This detective, who has been practicing since 1993, corroborates that concern on the part of companies towards unjustified disabilities. "Although there are offices that investigate only fraud in car accidents, theft or infidelity, the vast majority of the sector is already mainly engaged in labor", Explain. The APDPE, in fact, figures in a 90% the total of the services assigned to this task. Already within the labor, the majority corresponds to requests from organizations to investigate alleged false casualties: "When they call us, more than 90% of contracts are for casualties. The rest are for disparate issues, such as unfair competition, "says Cuzco Detectives general director Carmen Serrano.
From here, each case is a world. "We work with mutuals that take out the public contract to hire private detectives. We investigate cases in which an injury is magnified or lengthened, in which there is parallel work or work in black, "continues Juan Carlos Delgado, director of the Detectib office. He profile of the fraudster is motley, both his radiography and his motivations: "There are both men and women, between 35 and 55 years old and of all types of companies," explains the detective. "There are those who want to be without work for as long as possible, those who want to force compensation or those who perform double fraud by withdrawing in one place and working in another in black," says Serrano.
Despite this, adds Regidor, fraud in many cases it is something that is justified. "In the middle profile we would all enter, because it is someone who seeks a moral basis to compensate for a situation that he considers unjust," he alleges. And, the employee who cheats as a way of life is residual. "Defrauds people who believe that the company does not treat you well, that you know that the company has had benefits and has not shared them, that you do not feel your work rewarded … It's people who know that and decide to act," he says.
Many employees deceive the company to compensate for a situation they understand unfair
There are also frequent cases in which workers in a precarious situation They pretend an injury so they can work in black elsewhere and increase their income. What is not so common is the reverse case, in which an employee hires a detective to show that he makes unpaid overtime or suffers some type of harassment. "It would be a good line of business and it would make sense, because the right is the same", Explains Javier Regidor.
The company that hires the services, however, it is not governed by specific patterns. There are from multinationals of various sectors to small family groups. "Large companies are usually right in 90% of cases when they suspect. In human resources they have good smell. They are companies that call little, maybe once or twice a year, but when they do it is because they are sure that something strange happens, "says Regidor, who is currently completing a report for a large firm. On the other side are family businesses, where 38% to 45% of the time is correct, says Delgado. "They are companies with less experience in human resources, and to which absenteeism has a greater impact". In spite of this contrast, the employers' association of mutuals states that for every euro that an organization spends on detectives, saves 48 euros in casualties.
The fees of these professionals depend on the type of order, the monitoring time and the type of follow-up. The time usually oscillates between 60 and 80 euros, and if the process is going to be long, it is usually agreed a closed price that can reach 1,200 euros for three days of service. "Although to check something important in a forceful way, 3,000 euros is not usually lower. To obtain results it takes time ", explains Regidor. And it is that, the detectives remember, the legend of the professional who claims to have a sprain and is caught infraganti playing football, is false.