Employment news

Lloyds of London imposes first ever fine for non-financial misconduct

Lloyd’s of London has issued the largest fine in its history against underwriting group Atrium for behaviour that included ‘systematic bullying’ and the sexual harassment of female staff on an annual ‘boys’ night out’. The fine of £1.05m was imposed by Lloyd’s independent disciplinary committee and is the first ever for non-financial misconduct. Atrium must also pay Lloyd’s costs, in excess of £500,000.

Lloyd’s enforcement board said that there were ‘serious failures’ by senior managers within Atrium over a number of years, and a culture that “tolerated instances of unacceptable conduct involving discrimination, harassment and bullying”. One employee’s misconduct was well known within the company, but it failed to protect a junior employee once it became aware of the matter, even though its own investigation made findings of serious misconduct. Instead, Atrium chose to settle with the employee, motivated in part by the desire to protect Atrium from bad publicity as well as the desire to limit the impact on the business unit involved.