Lloyd’s of London has banned staff from drinking alcohol during work hours

Staff at London’s 328-year old insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, have been banned from drinking between 9am and 5pm, according to a report in the Evening Standard.

The 800 employees face being sacked for “gross misconduct” if caught boozing during work hours, the Standard said, as part of changes made to the company’s employee handbook. 

The rule change only apply to Lloyd’s staff and not the insurance brokers and underwriters based in the same building. 

A spokesman for Lloyd’s couldn’t be immediately reached for comment, but told The Telegraph: “Our employee guidance was recently updated and provided clarification on the Corporation’s position on drinking alcohol during the working day, which is prohibited.”

A daytime tipple is popular among staff working in insurance. An insider told the Financial Times that “it still goes on more than you might expect. There is still a short hours and long lunch culture in some places and there are stories of brokers sitting in pubs handing out contracts like Jabba the Hutt.” 

Lloyd’s of London, the world’s oldest insurance market, is having to adapt to a changing world. The company is considering moving some of its operations to Europe and opening a subsidiary abroad to ensure its ability to do business with the continent is not affected once the UK leaves the European Union.

Brexit will likely strip the UK of its financial passport  —  the right to operate across the remaining 27 EU nations.

According to Lloyd’s, last year business within  the European Economic Area “accounted for £2.93 billion or 11% of Lloyd’s Gross Written Premium.” 

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