Banners and posters in the Lloyd’s building in London are part of a campaign to highlight the importance of speaking up and to provide clear guidance on how individuals can take action if they see or experience unacceptable behaviour.

The posters, which highlight the message “Lloyd’s. No room for unacceptable behaviour”, give details of a confidential advice line.

John Neal, Lloyd’s CEO, said: “At Lloyd’s we expect all market participants to act with integrity, be respectful and always speak up. I hope this campaign encourages more people to do so. You will be heard, you will be supported, and we will act, because no matter what form it takes, harassment is never acceptable”.

He explained that the #SpeakUp campaign is part of a programme of measures put in place to address the findings of Lloyd’s recently published Annual Cultural Survey and aims to accelerate progress towards a culture of integrity, respect and inclusion across the Lloyd’s market.

The survey found that 38% of respondents did not know who to raise concerns with in the Lloyd’s market and only 45% of people felt comfortable enough to actually speak up about a problem.

It also emerged that 8% of all respondents had witnessed sexual harassment over the previous 12 months, that 24% had observed excessive consumption of alcohol during that period and 22% had seen people in their organisation turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour.

Lloyd’s plans to introduce a Culture Dashboard to closely monitor progress in the against key indicators of a healthy culture with the results published in its annual report. See https://futurecultureat.lloyds.com/culture/home or more details.

In the meantime, if staff do decide to visit one of the nearby pubs for a drink. they will find that the message is there before them as the new posters will also be posted in the toilets of local drinking places.

“Uninvited advances or physical contact. That's not a joke, that's harassment,” one of the posters reminds them, while another warns against “abuse masquerading as banter”.

Comment by Peninsula Associate Director of Advisory Kate Palmer

Since the dawn of the ‘#MeToo’ movement over two years ago, an increasing number of employers are beginning to recognise the dangers posed by inappropriate behaviour at work.

Where once employers may have turned a blind eye to instances of work-related banter, it is encouraging to see that many now appreciate that even well-intended humour could qualify as harassment.

By introducing anti-harassment training sessions and ensuring robust reporting measures are in place, employers have been able to create a more inclusive working environment and allow victims of abuse to disclose this confidentially.

There will always be room for improvement, and as we approach Christmas, employers should consider the dangers posed by the company Christmas party.

While these social events are a time for fun and celebration, this should not compromise employee safety. Standard workplace rules will still apply here. Although the consumption of alcohol is commonplace, staff should be reminded, in no uncertain terms, that any inappropriate or offensive behaviour will be dealt with severely.

Last reviewed 28 November 2019