BP tightens workplace relationship rules after former boss’s dismissal

BP has tightened its rules over intimate workplace relationships after its former boss was dismissed last year after failing to disclose details of a relationship with a colleague.

Employees at the oil giant will now have to disclose any “familial and intimate relationships” with colleagues or risk losing their jobs, according to the firm’s new policy.

It added that senior managers have to report any intimate relationships with colleagues which have taken place over the past three years.

Bernard Looney in Downing Street
Bernard Looney was chief executive of BP until September last year (Aaron Chown/PA)

Workers who fail to adhere to these policies could face disciplinary action or dismissal.

Previously, BP employees only had to disclose relationships if they thought there would be a conflict of interest issue.

It comes after Bernard Looney left as chief executive of the FTSE 100 business in September over his disclosure of relationships.

BP told shareholders that he “did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obliged to make more complete disclosure”.

The company later “formally dismissed” him and said his actions amounted to “serious misconduct”.

He was also denied more than £32 million of potential pay and share awards.

Mr Looney said he was “disappointed with the way this situation has been handled”.

On Monday, BP said it had a review of its conflicts of interest policy scheduled for this year and made this latest update as a result, with the policy coming into place at the start of June.

It said: “The policy requires conflicts of interest to be disclosed, recorded and – where appropriate – mitigated.

“Familial and intimate relationships at work can constitute a conflict of interest.

“Employees were previously required to disclose and record such relationships if they felt there could be a conflict of interest.

“Now they are required to disclose intimate relationships at work, whether or not they feel they represent a conflict of interest.”

The firm, which employs around 90,000 people, said its top 4,500 managers have three months to report all their intimate relationships dating back three years, as a result.