By Enes Morina

LONDON -- BP tightened rules related to workplace relationships among employees, requiring all staff to disclose intimate relationships at work and mandating that senior leaders disclose any such relationships that have occurred in the last three years.

The move followed the high-profile departure last year of former Chief Executive Bernard Looney, who resigned from the oil giant after the company said he hadn't been fully transparent about past personal relationships with colleagues.

Looney was subsequently classified as "dismissed without notice," a designation BP said at the time was tied to a finding of serious misconduct. That triggered a cutoff of salary, pension and other payments amounting to more than $40 million in lost compensation.

Last year, BP's board reviewed allegations of what it said were Looney's personal relationships with colleagues, based on anonymous information. It said Looney disclosed a small number of such past relationships that occurred before he became CEO. The company later said it determined that information Looney provided was inaccurate and incomplete.

The new policy marks a shift from the oil company's previous position, which required workers to reveal office romances if they felt that they could amount to a conflict of interest.

Now, BP staff must disclose all "familial and intimate relationships" at work "whether or not they feel they represent a conflict of interest," BP said in a statement Monday.

BP said that the changes followed a recent review of its policy concerning conflicts of interest at the office, which it said should be "disclosed, recorded and - where appropriate - mitigated."

The more stringent disclosure rules for senior leaders -- a requirement to disclose any intimate relationship going back three years -- will apply to a group of around 4,500 executives out of a global workforce of 90,000 staff. According to BP, any refusal to comply with the new rules could lead to disciplinary action. Executives have three months to comply with the new disclosure rules.

BP said it periodically updates compliance policies and that after a recent refreshment of its code of conduct in January 2023, it had scheduled a review of its conflict of interest policy for this year. It was last updated in 2018, the company said. BP said the review included benchmarking against comparable companies and organizations and what it called a review of good industry practice.

Write to Enes Morina at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-10-24 1347ET