Workers inform on office drinkers

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WORKERS ARE increasingly unwilling to put up with colleagues who drink during working hours and far more likely to inform on them than they used to be, according to a new study.

Intolerance of "substance abuse" ranges from people who have serious drink and drugs problems to those who go to the pub at lunchtime, says a survey conducted for the Institute of Personnel and Development.

"Ten years ago many people used to go out for a liquid lunch, but it is no longer as acceptable as it was," said Oonagh Ryden, a policy adviser at the institute.

Ms Ryden believes the growing tendency to tell management about colleagues' drinking or drug taking is based on anxiety over people's welfare and concern over the impact on work performance.

"People have become intolerant of colleagues suffering from hangovers whose ability to do their job is impaired. They get fed up covering up for them," she said.

The survey of 1,800 personnel specialists found that 46 per cent of companies had received reports of alcohol abuse by staff during the past year, compared with 35 per cent in 1996. About 18 per cent had received reports of illegal drug taking.