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Lloyd’s facing enhanced scrutiny after whistleblowing hotline error

24th December 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Insurance and reinsurance marketplace Lloyd’s of London is facing enhanced scrutiny after it emerged that its whistleblowing hotline was out of commission for 16 months.

Lloyd’s said it had forgotten to renew its contract with the company that managed the line, meaning roughly 1,000 staff had no way to anonymously report issues such as sexual harassment or bullying.

The blunder comes at the close of a challenging year for Lloyd’s,  as it has tried to clamp down on widespread issues of sexual harassment and alcohol consumption in the market, among other issues.

Reports suggest the issue with Lloyd’s “Speaking Up” hotline was discovered in February, and was immediately relayed to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

The regulator warned that Lloyd’s will face “enhanced scrutiny” going forward, and noted that the failure left staff with no way to report issues anonymously.

A new program of measures aimed at fostering a safer and more inclusive working environment was introduced at Lloyd’s in September after a survey revealed widespread issues regarding sexual harassment and employee wellbeing in the marketplace.

Commissioned in the wake of a series of sexual harassment claims, the survey found that 8% of respondents had witnessed sexual harassment in the Lloyd’s market over the previous 12 months.

However, just 45% of those surveyed said they would feel comfortable raising a concern, while 22% said they had seen people in their organisation turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour.

Across the board, women also reported a more negative experience than men in the Lloyd’s market, while one in five respondents did not believe people had equal opportunities regardless of gender.

Additional concerns were raised as 40% of survey respondents felt under excessive pressure to perform at work, whilst 24% had observed excessive consumption of alcohol during the past 12 months.

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