Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

`WORK,' said Oscar Wilde, `is the curse of the drinking classes.' Not according to the nosy and interfering bosses whose attitudes to employment might have been stamped out by William Wilberforce.

A survey by the magazine Personnel Today proves that it isn't just government which has our liberties in its sights. One in three employers, it revealed, is considering or planning to conduct random breathalyser tests on its staff to check that they have not been drinking in the lunch break. Three quarters of the 300 firms involved in the survey said that they had a policy against drinking at lunchtime, and nearly one in ten say that they conduct drug and alcohol tests before hiring staff.

The quality of an employee's work, it seems, doesn't come into it; what offends bosses is the thought that some of their minions might actually be enjoying themselves rather than committing themselves fully to the puritanical work culture that pervades most offices these days. …

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