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Lloyd’s of London, one of the oldest financial institutions in the United Kingdom, imposed an alcohol ban for employees during office hours.
The ban, which prohibits alcohol consumption between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, was put into effect after the company discovered that most of the reported misbehavior in the office involved alcohol. Violators will face punishment such as possible termination.
Lloyd’s began in 1688 as a coffee house that served as a venue where sailors, merchants, and ship owners conducted transactions.
As daytime drinking is considered a significant aspect of London’s culture, the practice of drinking at work during lunchtime has become a trademark of the finance industry. However, Lloyd’s drinking ban signifies the evolving times because it demonstrates the company’s drive to align its culture with competitors and its desire to produce a healthy working environment for its employees.
Several employees expressed resistance to the ban by posting sentiments of outrage online. Some have likened the ban to dictatorship, while some wondered whether the ban was an attack on human rights or an indication of stringency. There was also speculation that the ban was implemented to have a reason to dismiss employees, especially those who refuse to comply with the policy.
Research conducted by the City of London Substance Misuse Partnership revealed that alcohol misuse is most common in the finance industry. Around 40% of employees indulge in excessive drinking two to three days every week.