Does your company have a line on drugs?

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The Independent Online
British Rail: BR has had a strict policy against employees' consumption of drugs and alcohol since last century, but the 1992 Transport and Works Act made it a criminal offence to be intoxicated in charge of a vehicle. The Act compels transport employers to test employees for drug and alcohol use; accordingly BR introduced a computer-selected screening process, which tests 5 per cent of workers randomly each year.

Shell: According to company literature, employees are expected "to be fit and ready to carry out their work duties at all times without any risk of their performance being impaired or their efficiency reduced by drugs or alcohol". Impairment "is and always has been treated as serious misconduct", and the misuse of legal drugs is also prohibited. Staff are also issued with booklets on drug awareness.

Citibank: No policy in the UK, though a spokeswoman said that there were probably more formal arrangements in the US.

James Capel & Co, stockbrokers: No policy.

SG Warburg, merchant bankers: No policy.

Morgan Grenfell & Co, merchant bankers: No policy. The matter "was not raised as an issue internally", said a spokesman.

ICI: No specific policy on testing employees for drug or alcohol abuse, but the company does run a "sensible health" educational programme, which would seek to help workers to come to terms with an addiction.

Glaxo: No testing, though questions are asked at pre-employment medicals regarding medication and alcohol consumption.

Lloyds Bank: No policy, but a spokeman said that Lloyds is "aware that it is an issue" and is "looking into it".

Select, model agency: No testing. "We don't believe in it." A spokesman claimed that they would just know from a person's behaviour if he or she were taking drugs, and dismissed the reliability of current screening procedures as "hit and miss".

TSB: No "black-and-white" rules: should alcohol or drug abuse begin to affect an individual's work the matter is dealt with "sensitively" and with reference to line management. No alcohol or other substance is allowed on the bank premises without the permission of the senior line manager.

Scott Hughes