Workers laugh at sexist and racist jokes and think nothing of taking part in sexual banter, according to a new report today.

A poll of almost 800 managers and employees revealed an "alarming disregard" for behaviour in the office.

Insurance group Hiscox said its study found that two-thirds of workers swear, while more than one in three laugh at sexual innuendo or regularly hear jokes of a racist or sexist nature.

Younger workers are most likely to swear or dream up a nickname for a colleague and believe it is OK to call a colleague "love" or "pet."

Gary Head, of Hiscox, said: "These office antics are particularly alarming given the recent spate of high-profile legal discrimination cases, and a flurry of new employment legislation which has led to predictions of increased discrimination claims being brought against companies in the next two years."