Staff at Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market in the City, have enjoyed a tipple during the day ever since it opened in 1688, but now a 9-to-5 alcohol ban has been drafted in – after roughly half of employee disciplining cases were found linked to alcohol in the last two years, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Newly updated employee guidelines provide “clarification on the rules around alcohol consumption, which is prohibited during business hours. The guidance removes any ambiguity on the policy,” a Lloyd’s of London spokesman said in a statement.
According to The Financial Times, its 800 workers have been told the hours between 9am and 5pm must be strictly dry. It is traditional for traders working in that area to gather around Leadenhall Market to make contacts and probe deals over a pint.
Comments posted on the company’s intranet, included: “Lloyd’s used to be a fun place to work. Now it is the PC [political correctness] capital of the world where you can’t even go out for a lunchtime pint anymore?”
On the other hand, working in the City, confirms financial commentator David Buik, has become “professionally competitive. Brexit means about 30,000 jobs are likely to be shed in the City of London by banks and brokers. Your bank requires double the capital to do the same business that it did eight years ago and new regulatory requirements are resulting in the number of employees being severely cut back — it’s much more ‘dog eat dog’. A clear head at lunchtime these days is a prerequisite.”
The measure could have a big effect on pubs and bars in London’s financial district, which also face the prospect of firms leaving the U.K. after Brexit.
Lloyd’s of London is expected to move some of its operations to elsewhere in the EU, with Dublin, Luxembourg or Paris mooted as possible options.
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