The Insurance Post released a very interesting article this week on sexual harrasement in the work place.
The 2017 Supreme Court ruling that tribunal fees are ’unlawful’ is likely to result in a rise in sexual harassment claims
The government’s decision to make gender pay reporting mandatory could lead to ‘gender related’ employee claims
There is an increased focus and awareness around sexual harassment culture
“Insurers are offering free services to businesses in order to help them mitigate the risk of sexual harassment claims occurring. With sexual harassment cases hitting the headlines, how will the insurance industry be affected – both internally and externally? The downfall of film producer Harvey Weinstein and the emergence of the #MeToo campaign has given women across the world the confidence to come forward and report sexual harassment. The campaign is expected to result in costly litigation, for which insurers are likely to face losses. But far more damaging is the potential that harassment claims could come from women working within the insurance industry itself.”
Sam White, CEO of Pukka Insure, recalled her own experiences that unfortunately ended with her moving jobs “people shouldn’t be pushed to such lengths where they feel as though they have to consider their jobs.” Sam went on to explain her view that as long as there is still a significant gender balance, we will continue to see claims arise “In any industry where you have such an imbalance between sexes, you will always have this type of problem,”
However, Sian Fisher, CEO of the Charted Insurance Institute and Management Committee Member of the ISC, feels the problem is abuse of power. “The real issue here is about abusive behaviour and people abusing power in this context. It is totally unacceptable that some people have felt they were able to abuse their power in a sexual context. “It is a shame that it has taken a number of high profile cases for this issue to be discussed in the mainstream media. As a profession, we must continue to remind our people, our customers and the wider public that harassment of any type is abusive and we will not tolerate it.”
“I don’t believe that any organisation in the insurance market today would knowingly condone such behaviour. Instead I see the insurance profession coming together to look at how it can better respond to this. In recent years there have been a number of initiatives highlighting the issues that women and certain groups in our society face. The Lloyd’s Dive In festival is an excellent example of this, as well as the Insuring Women’s Futures initiative.”