Procurement Policy

Whether it be computers, software, stationery or clothing, we do from time to time need to buy things as a business. In doing so, we need to understand how to decide what to buy, where to buy it from and what to do with it after we’ve purchased it.

General purchasing

When purchasing anything for the company, we need to balance performance with social and environmental impact and cost. In an ideal world, everything that we buy would be fit for purpose, socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and cheap. However, in most cases, we will need to compromise and the below guidelines should help you to find the right balance.

Need

Before buying anything, we must assess whether we really need to buy anything at all. What is the need that we are trying to address? Is it a real need, and could this need be fulfilled without buying anything – perhaps with an alternative solution, or by renting or borrowing something? To buy nothing is usually the best solution in terms of environmental impact and cost, so it should always be our first choice. If we do need to buy something, then we should use the following criteria:

Performance

We must ensure that the product or service is fit for purpose. Otherwise, it will fail to meet our need and waste money and natural resources. When assessing performance, you must aim to find the Goldilocks level of performance – not too little, not too much but just right. While too little performance will not meet our needs, too much performance can waste money and natural resources because high performance products are often less efficient.

Social and environmental impact

We should always be aiming to use products and services that are socially responsible in their production and use, as well as achieving a high level of environmental sustainability. We must never knowingly purchase products that use child labour or exploit workers and we should aim to add social value by buying local, independently produced goods and services wherever possible. Local products can also reduce environmental impact, as can buying second-hand or refurbished goods and assessing products according to Tom’s Sustainable Design Manifesto.

Cost

As a business, we aim to not spend any more money on stuff than is required to meet our practical needs. The only exception to this is where a more socially and/or environmentally responsible product is available, in which case we’ll pay a premium for it if it is financially viable to do so.

Payment & Receipts

Where possible, purchases should be made with a company debit card but can be purchased by individuals who must then submit an expense claim. A valid receipt is required to be filed immediately for all company purchases. Please see our expense policy for details of how to submit your claim

Care of products

The team members entrusted with any products owned by the company must take good care of them by using them responsibly and storing and transporting them safely. If advice or assistance is required to care for products, then the team member responsible must ask another team member or manager.

If a product is accidentally damaged or found to be faulty, you must report and return it immediately to a manager so that a repair or replacement can be arranged. This is especially important in the case of product faults as a delay in reporting and returning the product could void our ability to claim a repair or replacement under the product warranty.

If you no longer need an item owned by the company, you must return it immediately so that other team members can use it or it can be sold, donated or recycled. Similarly, if you require a new, updated product, then you must return the old one. Company property is not your own to keep or dispose of.

Hardware, computers and devices

Electronic products have a high environmental impact. Therefore, wherever possible, you should aim to buy second-hand equipment with low energy consumption. If suitable equipment is not available second-hand within the required time frame then new equipment can be purchased, but try to select a manufacturer with good social and environmental standards where possible.

We recommend the following electronics suppliers:

  • eBay – for second-hand devices
  • Apple – check their refurbished products
  • John Lewis – our preferred choice for new equipment due to socially responsible business practices and extended warranty on electronics as standard.

Software

We often have limited choice over which software we purchase. Where possible, we should aim to use software that is open-source, cloud-based and tried and tested. There are specific cases where open-source or cloud-based software does not meet our requirements, particularly in the case of design software. In these cases, we have to make an exception.

Clothing

We have very limited need to purchase clothing, but do sometimes buy branded clothing for team members.

When purchasing clothing, please note the following:

  • It must display one of our brand names
  • It should be a design that the relevant team members are happy to wear
  • It should be from a socially and environmentally responsible supplier.

We recommend the following clothing suppliers:

  • I Dress Myself – a fantastic supplier for batches of clothing. Good quality organic garments, screen-printed by hand with water-based inks in Somerset
  • Rapanui – produce organic T-shirts printed in a wind-powered factory on the Isle of Wight. Great for one-off designs, but the quality is not as good as I Dress Myself.

Stationery

We don’t buy a lot of stationery but do sometimes need to buy pens, pencils, paper, et cetera, as well as printed products such as business cards and other marketing materials.

  • All products made of paper must be FSC certified or equivalent or produced from recycled materials
  • Pens should be refillable where available
  • Disposable items should be avoided if possible, but should otherwise be biodegradable or recyclable if possible
  • Printed products should use non-toxic water-based inks wherever possible.

Some of the websites where these products can be found are:

  1. https://thegreenoffice.co.uk/storefront/home
  2. https://www.greenstat.co.uk/storefront/home

If you have any questions about purchasing or caring for stuff at Wholegrain, please ask the Company Directors.

Full Fat FAQs

You’ve got questions, haven’t you..?

Well, we’ve got the all the answers!*

Although we love chatting with you, we know your time is precious. So before you call us, take a look at our most commonly asked questions and see if yours is one of those we’ve answered below.

How much will my website cost?

The short answer is that we don’t know, as each website we create is as individual as you are. Your absolute minimum investment for a wholesome website would be around £3,000. But to make sure we can really do your project justice, please get in touch with your requirements and we can give you a more accurate quote.

Do I need to register my own domain?

Yes, you will need to register your own domain name so that you have full ownership of it.  We will be happy to guide you through the process so please ask if you need any assistance.

Do you provide hosting?

Nope. We used to, but we don’t provide hosting ourselves anymore. However, we can set up an account for you and then hand over the reins once your site is launched. If you buy your own hosting, we recommend Flywheel or WP Engine.  Please ask us to advise on the best option for your project.

Do you provide email account set-up?

If you don’t already have email accounts configured for your own domain name then we can advise you on the best solution.  Most of our clients use Google Apps for Business or Microsoft 365.  We don’t configure these as a standard service but if you need help then we will surely be able to arrange something.

Can you help me set up an email newsletter?

Of course we can! We can even design it for you. Just let us know and we can make sure we include this in the original quote.

Can I design the website myself and get you to make it for me?

Yes, you can.  We simply ask that you provide accurate, fully layered PSD files for each page template that you need us to develop.

Can you write content for my website?

Indeed we can! Let us know what you need and we’ll get one of our fantastic copywriters to work with you to create content that really speaks to your audience.

Can you provide photos for my website?

We’d love to! Find out more about our professional photography services.

Will I be able to update my website myself?

Of course you will – that’s one of the great things about WordPress! It’s so simple to use and we can even include training, so that you’re completely confident when we hand your site over to you.

How do I make sure my website stays secure?

There are lots of ways to ensure that your site stays secure and we’d be happy to advise you on how to do this. However, for extra peace of mind – and to save you some precious time so you can focus on what’s important – you can always take out one of our maintenance contracts.

Can you make my website on a platform other than WordPress?

Why would we want to? We love WordPress! There are (rare. Very very rare) occasions when we might advise that it’s not the right solution for you needs. In this case, we may be able to build a custom solution but if not, we’ll be sure to suggest options for you to pursue with another agency. But if there’s no reason not to use WordPress, then we highly recommend you do! Just look at all the awesomeness we can create with it…

Ready to get your wholesome new website?

Contact us today for a quote.

*Ok, maybe not all of them… If you can’t find the answer here, do give us a shout so that we can update this FAQ!

Our definition of success

It is important in business and in life to have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve and to regularly remind yourself of that.  Wholegrain Digital is not like most businesses in that we exist for reasons beyond simply making money.

This is our definition of success and mission statement, towards which strive:

We will have achieved success when we recognise that Wholegrain Digital is not a company, or a brand, but a team of unique and special people.  When we recognise that our clients too are not businesses, but also groups of unique individuals whose needs we aim to serve.

When we have found health and happiness as individuals within our team and are able to spread that health and happiness to each other, to our clients and to others that we impact.

When our team is supportive of every person as an equal yet unique individual, gives them the opportunity to flourish and helps them each to grow. When every person makes the team stronger as a whole.

When we do work that doesn’t just pay the bills and feed our mouths, but challenges us to think, to learn new skills and to become better people.  When we do work that at worst does not sacrifice our values and at best will make our hearts sing.

When we can achieve all of this not just temporarily, but sustainably in an ever changing world.

Our Pro-bono Policy

At Wholegrain Digital we are passionate about making a positive impact on the world and love to work with clients who are doing great things. The sad reality is that often the people doing the most positive work are people who do not have big budgets to support their work and so it is natural that they would request discounted or pro-bono work.

Over the years we have supported many positive organisations and our experience has led us to define a few simple rules of thumb to help us decide if we can support the project.

Do projects:

  • completely pro-bono when we have the time and resources available
  • for causes that we are genuinely passionate about
  • where the team members are passionate enough to put in a proportion of their own time voluntarily
  • that have clearly defined boundaries

Don’t do projects:

  • discounted, because it devalues our service and limits our ability to draw clear boundaries around our contribution
  • that are favours for people we know because it limits our ability to draw clear boundaries around our contribution
  • that we are not personally super passionate about
  • that are not clearly defined

Is this a custom project?

Sometimes it can be hard to decide if the best option for the client is a full custom design and build or to simple modify an existing WordPress theme. This decision tree covers some common considerations and should help to ensure that we always offer our clients the solution best suited to their needs.

Service Terms and Conditions

Wholegrain Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of service are designed to ensure that both Scamper Ltd (aka Wholegrain Digital) and the client understand the basis on which we are to work together and that there are clear and fair protections in place to minimise risk for all involved.  If any element of these terms is unclear or appears inappropriate to your business or project, please don’t hesitate to discuss it with us. They are written in HTML, not in stone!

1. When does a project begin?

A project begins and these terms become effective on the day that the client approves a quote or rate card and confirms that they are happy for our team to proceed with the work.

In practice, the project will begin on the date that we have agreed to schedule the start of work.  Projects are scheduled on a first come first served basis and payment of the deposit is required in order for us to reserve the slot.  We try to ensure that the slot discussed is available for you, but please don’t be upset with us if you don’t pay the deposit promptly and we have to give the slot away to someone else.

Once a slot has been reserved for you, we will be allocating resources to start work on that day, so if you then delay the launch there is a risk that we will have people sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for you.  In this unlikely event, we will charge you for the first day of lost work at our standard rate and for any additional days that we have scheduled to work on your project but cannot due to delays on your side.  The best thing is always if you tell us about delays as early as possible so that we can try to re-organise our schedule and avoid charging you any wasted time, because it gets really awkward and we don’t want that.

2. What does the quote mean?

All quotes issued by Wholegrain Digital are valid for 30 days from the date of issue, although they don’t magically turn into pumpkins on the 30th night. If you need more time to think about a quote, just let us know and we’ll see if we can extend the validity for you.  Most of our quotes are fixed price and cover a fixed scope of work as described in the quote. The quantity column on our quotes in most cases indicates the number of hours that we estimate the job will take, but rest assured your quote is fixed. The hours estimate is simply for our own internal planning.

That said, there are some projects where it is not possible to provide a fixed price quote and these will clearly state that they are estimated and not fixed price.

Please also note that our rates might change from time to time, in which case we will give you as much notice as we can, but a minimum of 30 days. Any changes to our rates will not affect existing quotes within their validity period or any current or scheduled projects where costs have been agreed. Basically, if we have agreed a cost then we have agreed a cost –
simple as that! Rate changes only apply to new work where costs have not yet been agreed.

3. Want to back out?

If you change your mind after you approve a quote but before the project starts then although it will disrupt our schedule, we want you to be happy so we will refund the deposit and wish you farewell.

If you change your mind and wish to cancel a project after work has begun then we will simply charge for the time that we have already spent working on it. If this is more than your deposit, we will invoice for the difference. If it is less than the deposit, we will refund the difference.

If we change our mind and decide to back out of a project for any reason, we will give you as much notice as reasonably possible, refund any money paid for work not yet delivered and do our best to hook you up with an alternative provider that we know and trust.

4. Tell me about that deposit

We charge a deposit for most work that we do. This reassures us that you are serious about the project and also provides us with essential cash flow while we are doing the work for you.

As standard we don’t start projects unless we have received the deposit, so prompt payment is important if you are in a hurry to get started. If you have a reason why payment cant be made fast enough (like those pesky people in accounts only running payments once a month), please tell us and we will try to come to some sort of compromise.

If you commission a project or service with regular instalments such as a maintenance contract, the relevant instalments must be received before the next stage of service begins. If this is not possible for any reason, talk to us as soon as possible so that we can find a resolution.

For services like hosting, we will do our absolute best to avoid a situation where your service is suspended due to late payment from you, but naturally we cannot provide service indefinitely without up to date payments and it is ultimately our discretion, so open dialogue is important on both sides to ensure that it never comes to that.

5. What if you don’t pay?

In the very very unlikely event that you decide not to pay for something that you have purchased from our team, we will do our best to work with you to find a solution. However, we will eventually need to draw the line and if an invoice has been 3 months overdue and we have not agreed a suitable payment date then we reserve the right to hand it over to a debt collector. We don’t want it to ever come to that, so being open and honest with us about your circumstances is really important.

6. Please don’t send us cheques

Our accepted payment methods are stated on our invoices. These include credit card, bank transfer and PayPal.

We ask you nicely not to send us a cheque. Please. Pretty please. It is the 21st century and as much as we love a bit of retro, we don’t love cheques. If you send us a cheque it means that a very busy member of our team has to actually go to a bank, and as much as we love bankers, we just don’t have the time. This could result in delays to your project or service, which none of us want.

7. What’s the deal with our standard and higher rates?

Almost all of the work that we do is charged at our standard rate for the relevant service as indicated on our rate card. However, if you ask us to work in the evening, night time, weekend or bank holidays when we would normally be doing something other than building websites (yes, we do have the odd outside interest), then we think it is only fair to charge extra.

Similarly, if you don’t have a support contract with us and you pop up one day with something that you consider to be urgent, we will do our best to help as quickly as we can, but it will likely mean changing our schedule, doing overtime and possibly a little bit of stress, so we naturally charge our higher rate in these circumstances.

Any extra charges for higher rate work will be added to your next invoice and itemised. Just to be clear, if out of hours work or urgent work is required through some fault of our own or because we just feel like working very quickly in the middle of the night, we won’t charge you extra for that.

8. So what are your standard working hours?

All of our team work flexible hours and that means different things to different people. However, for the purposes of our opening hours and any extra charges for out of hours work, our opening hours should be considered as 8.57am to 5:01pm Monday to Friday excluding national holidays. 9 to 5 just sounded a bit boring!

9. When changes are requested

There are times during projects when you might need to change your requirements or ask for something extra.  A change request is defined as anything not written in the original brief or quote.

When you make a change request, it might mean that the amount of work involved in the project will change. If extra work is incurred then we will charge for the extra time that we spend on it and you agree to pay for this time unless otherwise agreed in writing. If the job gets smaller then lucky you, we will discount your next invoice by the amount of time saved.

In the case of design work, most fixed price design projects include unlimited design iterations within the scope of the original brief, but these iterations expire at the point where you approve the design either verbally or in writing, or if you change the design brief. After that point, any extra design changes that you request will be charged for.

You might have also figured out that different work takes different time, so any changes to the spec could affect your project timeline.  In some circumstances we might also have to delay your website launch in order to give us enough time to complete the changes, but if this is the case we will let you know so that you have the option of holding back the changes until after launch.

10. Talking about timelines

We take timing seriously and do our absolute best to ensure that your project launches on time, even in cases where we face delays and changes along the way.  However, it is important to note that our estimated timelines are just that… estimates.  There are some things that you can also do to help ensure that you get work delivered when you need it:

  • Tell us when you need it. Be honest and tell us the reasons why this date is important to you. And no, yesterday is not possible.
  • Give us the information, feedback, access and assets that we need promptly and in the formats that we ask for. We need to work as a team and can’t do our job without being supplied with everything that we need.  We will give you a schedule at the start of the project to explain when we need crucial feedback and assets from you so that you can ensure you have everything ready on time.
  • Don’t change your mind. As mentioned above, it is your project and you are welcome to change your mind, but it is important to understand that changes can require extra time.  If you have a fixed deadline, it is important to be clear and decisive.

11. What about warranties?

All of our work comes with a 30 day warranty as standard. This is measured from the date on which the work is delivered to you. We understand that sometimes issues are not spotted straight away and so if you find any problems at all during the warranty period, we will fix them free of charge as quickly as we can.

Of course, 30 days is an arbitrary time frame. Our experience shows that this is plenty of time in most cases, but if you discover an issue after the warranty period then you should still talk to us about it and we will do our best to find a fair solution.

Please note that there are some circumstances where the warranty may be invalidated as follows:

  • You (or someone representing you) has modified code on the site
  • You (or someone representing you) have installed plugins, themes, performed upgrades or changed settings that are responsible (partly or wholly) for the problems that you are reporting
  • The problems are related to hosting or DNS

12. Get good hosting and DNS provider

A website cannot run on its own and we strongly advise that you host your site with a reputable hosting provider from our hosting white list. Poor hosting causes stress and delays for everyone, and we all want to avoid that.

If you do decide to host it yourself, host with the boy down the road or with a non-recommended supplier and it causes problems, we will have to charge for the time that we spend trouble shooting. This is defined by situations where the site runs correctly on our standard test servers but not on your server. Choose a good reputable domain name provider who hosts your DNS for you and gives you 24×7 support in case of issues.

Unlucky 13. What if we stuff up?

We work very hard to ensure that we consistently deliver high quality services but you need to know what our liability is in the event that something goes Aloo Tikki.

Every situation is different and if we stuff up, we will put our hand up and try to find a suitable way of making it up to you. In a worst case scenario though, our liability is limited to the amount of money quoted by us for the work in question, no matter how it was caused.

You may wish to limit risk to yourself by minimising our access to your business assets, web servers and DNS. This is entirely at your own discretion and we will do our best to support you, but the more you let us in, the more we are able to help you.

In the event that you choose to launch the site yourself on your own servers, you will still be charged the site launch fee as we nearly always find that it actually take more of our time to assist with the installation of sites on servers that we don’t have access to.

14. Did someone overwrite the changes?

After we have launched the site on your hosting account and given you full access, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with the site.  You might well decide to edit some code yourself or your in-house developer might make some tweaks.  This is fine by us but it is really important that you keep us informed about any changes.  If you make changes to the site without telling us and then ask us to make some changes on the site, then we cannot be held responsible if we overwrite the changes that you have made.  Not just that, but we will have to charge you for the time to sort it out.  Good communication is the key here, so that we can ensure that everyone is on the same page.

If you are planning to make regular changes, then let us know and we can share a GitHub repository so that both parties always have the latest version of the code to work on.

15. 3rd party stuff

We will often use third party software and services in the work that we do. In cases where we have stated the use of third party software and services in our quote to you, the quote assumes that these tools will function as intended. These tools often provide amazing functionality with much reduced time and cost compared to custom development, but it’s not always party time. In the event that things don’t work perfectly, we will discuss the issues with you and agree any additional costs associated with overcoming the third party issues.

We agree that we will always ensure that any 3rd party products or services are correctly licensed for use in your project (e.g. plugins, stock photos, themes etc) and you agree that any materials provided to us are legal for use in the project. There will be no pirates on this so matey!

16. Keeping schtum

We are a team of professionals and understand that confidentiality is important. If you tell us something in confidence then we will ensure that none of our directors, employees, contractors or partners will ever utter a word about it in public without written permission.

Similarly, you agree that you will do the same for us.

17. Want to meet us?

We love meeting our clients and building strong relationships. Initial meetings to discuss potential work are always free of charge and we rarely charge for meetings during projects but it should be noted that the meetings are not actually included in our quotes unless stated. We just do them out of goodwill because we love you.

On occasion, we may need to charge for meetings if the time required for meetings and travel is not viable within the agreed budget, in which case we will tell you that this is the case. We will never charge you for a meeting without telling you first.

18. The power of teams

As an agency, one of our great skills is our ability to build and manage teams of highly talented people. You trust us to build the best team for the job and we stake our reputation on it. Sometimes our teams will include freelancers, contractors or even other businesses that we know and trust, and have put to the test thoroughly before involving them in your project.

All team members will be bound by the same quality and confidentiality agreements that you have in place with us.

19. Love us a bit too much?

If you are so impressed by any member of our team that you want to poach them to work for you then stop right there. It’s just not cool.

20. When does a project end?

We love finishing projects as much as you do. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  We consider a project finished when the deliverables have been achieved and are ready to be handed over to you.

As stated in our payment terms, we will invoice for the final payment before launch of the project (or milestone) and payment must be received in our bank account before we set it live.  You can do same day or next day bank transfers from nearly all banks these days so there is no excuse (and remember, no cheques!).  Upon receipt of payment and launch of the relevant work, we shall consider that phase of the project complete unless we have agreed to complete some deliverables after launch, in which case the project will be considered complete after those deliverables are ready.

If there is any dispute about completion of the deliverables then we shall partially invoice for the accepted elements and invoice for the remainder when the final timelines are agreed.

In the event that a project stalls for more than 30 days because of delays on your side, we reserve the right to invoice for the work completed up to that point. The project can then be resumed for up to another 30 days after that date with no additional costs to you. After that, we may have to amend the quote to account for changes in web technology or changes in our rates. We may also bundle up the work completed and give it to you for safe keeping long term if there is no sign that the project will resume soon and then you will be responsible for linking after those assets. In reality, we will almost certainly have a copy, but we can’t hold onto it forever.

21. Shout about it

We love to talk about the work that we do and we may use the work that we do for you or quotes of nice things that you say in our portfolio, social media and other promotions unless otherwise agreed in writing. It’s great for us and great exposure for you. We will respect your decision if you ask us not to, but we know from experience that team moral is greater when they are able to boast about their work. Maybe that’s fickle, but it’s also a fact.

Also, like painters sign their work, it is a standard in the web industry that the designers and developers are credited in the site footer. Take it as a compliment that we are proud to put our name on your website. Having said that, we understand that you might not want any mention of us on your website and that’s fine. We won’t take it personally. Just let us know and we promise to ensure that there is no mention of us anywhere on your site (unless you write about us on your site of course).

That’s all folks! We look forward to working with you!

Equal Opportunities Policy

Our Goal: “A Diverse, Vibrant and Inspiring Place to Work”

Introduction

Good equalities practice benefits everyone. Scamper acknowledges that the quality of life for many people has been eroded by disadvantage and discrimination, and that experience of this is both wide and varied.

People are still discriminated against because of their ethnic origin, gender, disability, age, religion or sexuality. Scamper also recognises that some people suffer discrimination due to ill health, social exclusion and other socio-economic factors.

As a business committed to sustainability, Scamper aims to use policy to work towards bringing discrimination to an end and to improve the quality of life for everyone for everyone affected by its activities.

Policy Statement

Scamper seeks to play a part in creating, maintaining and promoting a society in which each person has an equal entitlement and access to high quality opportunities and services irrespective of race, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or social class or origin.

Scamper is strongly opposed to discrimination, whether intended or unintended, in all its forms. It is therefore committed to:

  • Promoting and understanding the principles and practices of equality and justice
  • Identifying and removing practices and procedures which may result in direct or indirect discrimination
  • Providing equal access to appropriate resources and opportunities throughout its services
  • Encouraging active participation and involvement in decisions about priorities for all members of the community
  • Ensuring that recruitment, employment, promotion and training systems provide equality of access throughout
  • Securing compliance with all relevant legislation
  • Recognising that individuals’ needs vary and that a flexible approach is required to ensure full participation and access to all it services
  • Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of its policies and making changes and corrections where necessary

Scamper expects all its employees to commit themselves to challenge and combat discrimination in all its forms.

The priority of Scamper is to protect and promote the rights and interests of individuals and communities. Where there are conflicts of interest we will make judgements according to existing laws and policies.

Policy Aims

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

  • Providing equal opportunities in recruitment and employment
  • Developing services that benefit not only our clients, but wider society
  •  Wholegrain Digital  will achieve these aims by:
  • Putting equality and social justice at the heart of its operations and services
  • Challenging discrimination
  • Ensuring that commitment to equalities is an ongoing process
  • Regularly consulting stakeholders

Amplifying the Policy

Providing Effective and Accessible Services

Wholegrain Digital aims to:

  • Keep under review its services to ensure they meet the differing needs of individuals and groups
  • Provide clear information about Wholegrain Digital  and its services
  • Scrutinise and monitor services to make sure that they do not discriminate
  • Ensure equal access to the companies complaints procedure
  • Make  Wholegrain Digital s position on equality clear to all clients and potential clients

Providing Equal Opportunities in Recruitment and Employment

Wholegrain Digital aims to:

  • Become a model employer in terms of good practice on equal opportunities in the workplace
  • Employ a workforce that represents the diversity of society and in doing so serve gain a broader, more global perspective and serve society more effectively
  • Monitor the recruitment and selection process to ensure that applicants for jobs are considered only on the basis of relevant experience, qualifications, skills and abilities
  • Provide a safe and accessible working environment which values and respects employees’ identities and cultures
  • Help and encourage employees to reach their full potential through a variety of means including training appropriate to their needs
  • Provide the positive action allowed under the law to help to redress employment imbalances

Key Issues for Different Groups

Discrimination can be direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional. Discrimination can be perpetrated by individuals, groups or institutions.  At an individual level, discrimination is based on personal attitudes of superiority; at a group level, shared behaviour serves to reinforce discrimination; at an institutional level, prejudice becomes embedded in policy and procedure with the effect of excluding some people in favour of others.

At all levels, discrimination caused by unfair treatment and unequal distribution of opportunities and resources deprives people of a good quality of life and serves to reinforce a cycle of multi-faceted disadvantage.

Age Discrimination

Definition- negative assumptions based on a person’s age, which can affect both young and older people, particularly when they apply for jobs

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

  • A recruitment and employment policy that does not take age into consideration either in recruitment, promotion or training
  • Eliminating reference to age in recruitment material unless it is specifically relevant to the job
  • Having in place a complaints procedure which takes into account age discrimination in service delivery

Disability Discrimination

Definition – this occurs when Disabled people are faced with barriers to their full participation in society e.g. lack of access, negative attitudes, lack of support systems.

Underlying this is a lot of negative stereotyping over what disabled people can and cannot do. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 makes it unlawful for employers to treat Disabled people less favourably than others.  Wholegrain Digital undertakes to be proactive in countering this form of discrimination and promoting a positive attitude towards providing opportunities for people with disabilities

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

  • Ensuring that employees are aware of good practice when providing services or working with disabled people and have a clear understanding or their duties and responsibilities
  • Ensuring that terms and conditions of employment do not disadvantage people with disabilities
  • Ensure that the working environment does not prevent disabled people from taking up positions for which they are qualified by providing appropriate facilities, support and training to employees who have impairments, or who develop impairments while working for  Wholegrain Digital
  • Taking positive steps to ensure that disabled people have fair access to promotion

Racial Discrimination

Definition – the belief that one culture and set of values is superior to another, leading to prejudice on nationality, ethnic, origin, colour and culture. The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 places a general duty on all public bodies for eliminating all forms of racial discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity promoting good race relations between people of different racial groups

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

  • Training employees at all levels to enable them to recognise and challenge all forms of racial discrimination and to raise cultural awareness
  • Ensuring that work practices and policies do not alienate or disadvantage employees from minority ethnic communities or prevent them from having fair and equal access to jobs, promotion and training
  • Taking decisive action to address incidents of victimisation or harassment in relation to any aspect of the companies activities

Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexuality or Sexual Identity

Definition – negative attitudes and prejudices based on the belief that heterosexuality is the norm. The Human Rights Act 1988 Article 8 includes the right to ones sexuality

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

Creating a positive working environment in which lesbian and gay employees have fair and equal access to jobs, promotion and training

Training employees in order to ensure that the workplace is free from discrimination.

Discrimination on the Grounds of Religion and Faith

Definition – negative perceptions based on the view that one set of beliefs is superior to another. The right to hold and practice religious faith is enshrined within the Human Rights Act 1988 Article 9

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

  • Respecting each person’s religious beliefs
  • Taking account of religious festivals and practices when planning and organising events or services or developing policies
  • Ensuring that work practices or requirements do not unreasonably disadvantage people from any particular religious group
  • Treating discrimination on the ground of religion with the same force as all other forms of discrimination

Sex Discrimination

Definition – prejudiced attitudes that suggest that one gender, usually women, lack certain skills, abilities and characteristics that the other gender possesses

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

  • Ensuring recruitment and working practices do not disproportionately disadvantage either gender in gaining fair and equal access to jobs, promotion and training
  • Keeping under review pay and conditions of service to ensure the principle of equal pay for equal work is fully adhered to
  • Developing work practices that ensure that the needs of employees who have child care and dependant care responsibilities are taken account of
  • Supporting employees taking maternity or paternity leave or time off to care for children or other dependants
  • Training employees to raise awareness of their statutory obligations and ensure that the workplace is free from discrimination and harassment and acting promptly if any such incidents occur

Legislation

Wholegrain Digital will comply with all anti-discriminatory legislation including:

  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (updated 1986)
  • The Equal Pay Act 1970 (updated 1983)
  • The Race Relations Act 1976 (amended 2000)
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999
  • The Crime and Disorder of Offenders Act 1974
  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • European directives and regulations

Wholegrain Digital recognise that legal obligations in relation to discrimination may overlap between different groups, and that some groups do not benefit from legislative protection. We will ensure good practice towards all groups through this policy.

Responsibilities

Our Responsibilities

The Company Directors are responsible for determining the equalities policy and overseeing its implementation. It is responsibility of the directors to provide the overall direction and leadership for the policy and to monitor its outcomes, ensuring that the company complies with this policy. This they will do through regular discussions and meetings where appropriate.

Your Responsibilities

All managers and supervisors have a responsibility for familiarising themselves with the policy, for ensuring that it is distributed to, and understood by, all employees and for dealing appropriately with any breaches of it. Managers are also responsible for ensuring that they promote equal opportunities in their planning and operations.

Every employee is responsible for putting this policy in place and for mainstreaming its provisions. Breaches of the policy will be dealt with under the company’s disciplinary procedures as appropriate.

Quality Assurance Policy

Our Goal: “First class services delivered every time”

A Quality Assurance procedure documents how an organisation will plan, implement and assess the effectiveness of its quality assurance and quality control operations.

As an organisation committed to providing its customers with the highest level of service and providing maximum social and environmental benefit from their work, Wholegrain Digital has documented the Quality Assurance procedure to act as a framework for its operations.

The objectives of the Quality Assurance System are:

  • To maintain an effective Quality Assurance System to achieve and maintain a level of quality which enhances the company’s reputation with customers.
  • To ensure compliance with relevant statutory and safety requirements.
  • To endeavour, at all times, to maximise customer satisfaction with the services provided by Wholegrain Digital.

Wholegrain Digital is committed to:

  1. Knowing customer’s expectations and needs, continually providing high quality service.
  2. Solving customer complaints immediately, preventing problems from recurring and occurring, and earning customer trust.
  3. Developing a quality management system and making consistent improvements of its effectiveness.
  4. Setting quality goals from a customer’s viewpoint, understanding the condition of achievement and reviewing the appropriateness and adequateness of the goals.

The Quality Assurance Procedure consists of three levels:

Level 1: Quality Manual

This level details the corporate quality policy and structure of the company and references appropriate operating procedures.  Wholegrain Digital’s quality policy is to achieve sustained, profitable growth by providing services that consistently satisfy the needs and expectations of its customers.

This level of quality is achieved through adoption of a system of procedures that reflect the competence of the company to existing customers and potential customers.  Achievement of this policy involves all staff, who are individually responsible for the quality of their work, resulting in a continually improving working environment for all. This policy is provided and explained to each employee by the Directors.

To achieve and maintain the required level of assurance the Managing Director retains responsibility for the Quality System.

Level 2: Operating Procedures

These documents describe the actual processes and controls applied to all activities concerned with the attainment of a quality assured consultancy service.

At Wholegrain Digital, the services are tailored to the clients’ needs. The documents presented to the clients are proof read by the team members. These are produced as per the internal guidelines and processes such as the Wholegrain Digital Brand Constitution, Sustainability Policy, and Brand Strategy Methodology for each of the projects.

Wholegrain Digital is 100% committed to each project.  The project is thoroughly studied before tender application, and only applied for if it fits within the competency of the team members and availability of human and technical support.  Each member who will work on a project is allowed to set aside time to carry out independent research for the project. The research time brings more insight to the project.

The strategies are followed for maximum effectiveness are:

  • Document guidelines and instructions for critical tasks and processes more consistent results, saving in time, easier improvement
  • Make information available via computer quicker and easier to access resulting in reduced paperwork, easier to keep up-to-date and accurate, significantly easier to change and improve

Level 3: Quality Planning

As the company operates a customised type and range of services, customer satisfaction and quality are achieved by interpretation of the quality system in place with respect to the individual client and project. Specific customer requirements are identified and documented during the contract review process, allowing these requirements to be communicated and achieved, ensuring satisfaction of all customers declared needs.

The clients are given a chance to present and discuss their views at any stage. The Wholegrain Digital team would answer to all doubts and complaints for it is important that the services provided by us meet the client’s needs.

This assures happy clients and thus the following benefits:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Organisational growth
  • Increased effectiveness
  • Staff development
  • Legitimacy with external stakeholders.
  • Living the Wholegrain Digital brand promise
  • Promotion of sustainable principles
  • Improved reputation and word of mouth promotion
  • Our clients will become more successful

Sustainability Policy

Our Goal: “Make a big impact for our clients, with a small impact on the planet”

Introduction

Increasingly, sustainability is becoming a key issue for businesses and society in general, as people realise that current industrial, economic and social systems are storing up problems for the future. Sustainability is not about moving backwards, but about looking forwards to new, better ways of doing things.

Wholegrain Digital believe in the triple bottom line concept of sustainability, which focuses on three key areas:

  • Environmental – reducing environmental damage to levels that can naturally be absorbed by nature
  • Social – developing a healthy and fair global and local society
  • Financial – creating sustainable business models and stable, prosperous economies

 

Wholegrain Digital Sustainability Policy

At Wholegrain Digital we aim to do our best to work towards sustainability. We’re not perfect, but it is something that we take very seriously. We have a range of environmental, social and financial strategies to help us reduce our negative impact give something positive back to the world. These include:

Environmental

  • Wholegrain Digital intends to minimise its carbon footprint by operating a virtual business structure, centred around our innovative workspace in Westminster. This allows our associates to work at convenient locations and avoid excess travel. We also use the most efficient, practical mode of transport for each journey.
  • Wherever possible our stationary is recycled or recyclable and hence minimises its impact on the Earth. We use wood and paper only from sustainable sources where available. Perhaps more importantly, we try to avoid using physical stationary and printing documents wherever possible.
  • We reduce by only buying products which we need, reuse by using second hand products where available and selling our unwanted items, and try to recycle or compost as much of our waste as possible.
  • All of our cleaning products are natural, biodegradable and are bulk purchased when possible to minimise packaging.
  • We use low energy appliances wherever available.
  • We avoid flying where possible, and instead work with international clients, staff and partners using web communications and travelling over land if required.
  • We try to keep our carbon emissions to a minimum. Any remaining measurable carbon emissions from our energy use and transport are then suppressed through the charity Excellent Development who tackle climate change through third world development projects.
  • We develop services that can be delivered with no physical goods production or transportation

Social

  • We value our team. We make sure that our team members enjoy their work by giving them every possible opportunity to express themselves,  fulfil their potential and fit their work around the other important aspects of their lives.
  • We allow flexible working by allowing our team members to choose their own place and time of work. This helps team members maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • We maintain healthy relationships with our customers and accommodate their needs wherever possible.
  • We use local suppliers where possible to reduce our carbon footprint and stimulate the local economy.
  • We only deal with ethical organisations that treat their staff well.
  • We try to create opportunities for young talented individuals with strong ethics and help them to develop their careers by getting them involved in our work and helping to promote them.
  • We use fair trade products where appropriate.
  • We comply with all equal opportunities laws and regulations.
  • We actively promote the benefits of socially responsible business.
  • We refuse to work with organisations involved with ethically dubious activities such as military systems, tobacco, junk food, nuclear power, hunting, animal testing and genetically modified crops.
  • We bank with The Co-operative Bank because we consider them to be one of the most environmentally and socially responsible banks in the UK, even though “ethical bank” is a bit of an oxymoron.

Financial

  • We will build a strong, valuable brand.
  • We will keep costs to a minimum by virtual operation of the business using modern communication technologies.
  • We will avoid ethical liabilities by implementing our social and environmental sustainability policies.
  • We will minimise debt and other financial liabilities.
  • We will invest in sustainable businesses, to help encourage the growth of a sustainable economy, as well as providing the business with a strong long-term investment portfolio.
  • We will implement simple and effective business systems so that the business runs efficiently without reliance on the specialist knowledge or skills of any one individual.

Ethical Policy

Wholegrain Ethical Policy

Wholegrain Digital was established with the objective of making a positive impact on the world by helping good people do good things while working in a way that has minimal negative impact on society and the environment. Our ultimate goal is to create a company that has a genuine positive impact on the world, and we will continually strive towards that goal.

A big part of the impact that we have revolves around the type of projects that we work on. We work with clients in many different industries and try to work with positive people on positive projects.  This is determined on a case by case basis where we feel that there is a good fit. However, we positively and negatively screen projects to ensure that they fit with our values.

To clarify, we primarily screen projects instead of clients due to the fact that many organisations are complex and are engaged in many activities, so it is quite possible that a single client could be engaged in projects that we would refuse to work on while also being engaged in positive projects that we would love to be involved with.  However, there may be extreme cases where the parent organisation fails our screening to such an extent that the team feel uncomfortable being associated with them even on a positive project, in which case we would decline the project on that basis.

Positive Screening

We will aim to work on projects that:

  • promote a healthy natural environment, such as clean energy and non-toxic goods
  • reduce consumption of physical goods
  • reduce waste
  • raise awareness of important environmental, social and ethical issues
  • tackle injustice
  • encourage healthy lifestyles

We also aim to work on projects where the client organisation:

  • promotes fairness and equality in the workplace
  • pays all workers fairly
  • has strong, well documented social and environmental policies

Negative Screening

We will not undertake projects that directly promote any of the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Arms, ammunition and conflict
  • Discrimination
  • Fossil fuels
  • Gambling (with the possible exception of pro poker)
  • GM (that’s genetically modified crops, not General Motors)
  • Meat and dairy
  • Pay day loans
  • Tobacco

Also see our environmental policy and anti-discrimination policy.