Finding your nearest brokers...

Latest News

The financial services sector could be on the verge of a long-term overhaul

Financial Services Firms Should Consider Insurance as Attractiveness of Remote Working Grows

Jun 2020


The financial services sector could be on the verge of a long-term overhaul when it comes to ways of managing workloads, with working from home, as enforced during UK lockdown, likely to become a legacy of the coronavirus epidemic.

A recent survey suggests that over three-quarters of those working in ‘The City’ believe their productivity has not suffered whilst working from home. Seven-in-ten have viewed the situation as positive, with no commuting being the main reason cited. Over half of interviewees have found fewer distractions and enjoyed a quieter working environment.[1]

Other positive benefits have proved to be the greater amount of family and exercise time available and many have relished the flexibility of this way of working. A greater sense of wellbeing has been appreciated by over one third.

As lockdown has continued, there is a growing belief that working from home could be the lasting change coronavirus brings to the workplace. Only 41% felt it would be a long-term way of life at the start of the pandemic, but this has risen sharply, to 75% who feel working from home will be offered by their employer for at least one day a week. 43% now think a two-day working from home option may be available, whereas only 12% felt this would be probable when first interviewed.

RBS staff are some of the first to have their working from home period extended, with 50,000 staff - around three-quarters of the bank’s workforce - told this will continue until the end of September 2020. Office chairs, screens and other pieces of equipment are being dispatched to employees.[2]

The City culture has long revolved around face-to-face meetings, get-togethers in wine bars after work and queues of brokers lined up to speak to underwriters at Lloyds of London. When the latter closed and said it would be operating meetings remotely, the financial services sector was a little shocked and believed the Lloyds way could not become a virtual means of transacting business. As time goes on and people adapt to new ways of working, perhaps that thought will be eroded.

Should financial services firms continue to allow staff to work from home, there will be considerations at an insurance level, which may not so far have been addressed. A negative sometimes expressed by those working from home is that they miss daily contact with colleagues. Whilst fine weather and higher spirits in spring may have helped the transition for many home workers, cold or rainy autumnal and winter days may change the mood. Employers will still have a duty of care when it comes to matters such as protecting the mental health of their employees and will need to ensure all are treated fairly, whilst working remotely, or tribunals and legal actions could result.

Equipment will need to be insured, if provided to staff. Cyber insurance may well become imperative and cyber risk management policies may need to be written. Lone worker insurance may be required, to cover some employees. Commercial fleet insurance policies may also need reviewing, if some company cars are no longer required. And job descriptions and disciplinary procedures may need to alter, to make it clear what is expected of those working remotely.

Every scenario will be different but, whatever it is, an experienced insurance broker can guide you through the covers you require, or which you no longer need. To access such help, please use our ‘Find a Local Broker’ tool.

Sources:

[1] https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/working-from-home-proves-bonus-city-deloitte-future-of-the-city/

[2] https://www.cityam.com/more-than-three-quarters-of-rbs-staff-set-to-work-from-home-until-at-least-september/

Disclaimer:

Each applicable policy of insurance must be reviewed to determine the extent, if any, of coverage for COVID-19. Coverage may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. For global client programs it is critical to consider all local operations and how policies may or may not include COVID-19 coverage.

The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal and/or other professional advisors. Some of the information in this publication may be compiled by third party sources we consider to be reliable, however we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such information. We assume no duty in contract, tort, or otherwise in connection with this publication and expressly disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any liability in connection with this publication. Willis Towers Watson offers insurance-related services through its appropriately licensed entities in each jurisdiction in which it operates.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and changes are occurring frequently The information given in this publication is believed to be accurate at the date of publication shown at the top of this document. This information may have subsequently changed or have been superseded, and should not be relied upon to be accurate or suitable after this date.

FPS1183