17 February 2017 #Employment
The historic insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, has hit the headlines as it announced a ban on drinking alcohol between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
A leaked internal memo acknowledged that “the London market historically had a reputation for daytime drinking” but that this attitude has been changing and “Lloyd’s has a duty to be a responsible employer, and provide a healthier working environment”.
Employees who fail to comply may face disciplinary procedures and dismissal for gross misconduct, however the ban only applies to Lloyd’s of London staff, and does not extend to the insurance brokers and underwriters who are based in the same building.
While a Lloyd’s of London spokesperson explained that the new guidance was put in place to bring the group into line with other companies, according to the leaked memo “roughly half” of all grievance and disciplinary cases from the last two years were linked to alcohol consumption.
This highlights the difficulties employers can face in the absence of solid workplace policies.
Although some resistance to change to long-standing practices can be expected, the greater risk to employers is where employees feel that there is an expectation that they will drink in order to fit in with colleagues and clients.