Sickness Policy

Wholegrain Digital aims to encourage all its employees to maximise their attendance at work, while recognising that employees will from time to time be unable to come to work for short periods due to sickness.

We understand that there will inevitably be some short-term sickness absence among employees and do provide compensation for genuine short-term absences. However, we must pay due regard to business need and therefore monitor the length of time lost through illness to ensure all employees are able to do their job effectively, without putting themselves of others at risk.

Scope

This policy applies to all those contracted as employees of Wholegrain Digital.

Short-term Absences

It is the company policy to pay employees their normal basic rate of pay during periods of sickness absence of up to 3 days. Payment is, however, conditional upon an employee complying with the organisation procedure for notifying the directors of the absence, and in some cases, you may be required to attend an interview with the Company Directors to discuss your absence, on your return to work.

Long-term Absences

For absences of more than 3 days,  the company offers Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from the fourth day onwards, subject to your complying with the necessary notification and certification procedures as outlined below.

Sickness Absence Procedures

If you need to be absent from work due to illness, or any other reason, you must:

Short-term Absence

  • Notify the directors by telephone if as soon as possible that you are ill, or unable to attend work for any other reason. Notification should be as early as possible. You should be prepared to state the reason you cannot attend work and how long you think the absence will last
  • Notify the directors at the start of each day that you are absent, to let them know how you are and whether you will be able to return to work in any capacity, unless otherwise agreed.

Long-term Absence

  • Provide a doctor’s certificate or “fit note” for a period of sickness absence not exceeding seven days if the company specifically requests it
  • Cooperate with the company with regards to the possible implementation of any adjustment of  job duties, hours or working conditions, resulting from recommendations made by your doctor, notwithstanding the fact that the advice on a “fit note” is not binding on the employer.

General

  • Regardless of the length of time you are absent, you may be required to produce a doctor’s certificate and/or attend an interview with the directors on your return to work to discuss the absence and the reason for it. One of the purposes of this interview will be to establish whether or not the directors can provide any support that could facilitate attendance at work in the future (for example, if the absence was in any way work related)
  • Frequent, repeated short-term absences can damage efficiency and productivity, and place an additional burden of work on the whole team. As such, if there are any concerns in this regard, further discussion may be required and these absences would be treated in the same way as a longer-term absence.

This Policy is intended to provide general guidelines for reporting Sickness Absence. All information held is covered under the Data Protection Act. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Team Administrator in the first instance.

Overtime Policy

The purpose of this overtime policy is to clarify Wholegrain Digital’s rules regarding compensation of hours worked beyond your contractual agreed hours, and your responsibilities in ensuring that you are compensated appropriately.

We are want to make sure that you are fairly compensated for the time you put in to ensure completion of your duties. We also have a duty of care to you as employees, to the minimise health and safety risks to you personally, which can occur as a result of working excessive hours for an extended period.

Scope

This policy applies to all current employees.

General Rules

‘Contractual hours’ refers to those stated in your contract. If different to those stated below, please refer to your contract for the correct figure.

Generally, all employees are expected to plan their days so that you are able to complete your duties within your contractual hours (usually 8 hours per day/40 hours per week, pro-rated for part-time employees).

We realise that during busy periods, you may need to work a few extra hours to keep on top of workloads. In recognition of this, we agree to compensate overtime hours up to 10% of your weekly contracted hours (e.g. If you work 40 hours per week, we will compensate up to 4 additional hours each week) at your standard rate of pay, without prior arrangement.

Additional Overtime

From time to time, it may be necessary for you to work additional overtime to handle emergencies, heavy workloads and other issues. We recognise that frequent and excessive overtime isn’t good for your health or performance and therefore aim to keep these requests to a minimum. However, should you agree with one of the company directors to a short period of additional overtime, then we will arrange compensation provided that you follow the necessary approval and recording procedures.

Approval Procedure

You do not need approval to work up overtime that makes up 10% or less than your contracted hours

For additional overtime, whether this is your request or at the request of one of the Company Directors, you must:

  • Discuss and agree the requirement to work additional hours
  • Set the number of additional hours required and when these will be worked
  • Set a limit on the timeframe that the additional hours will last (not more than one week)
  • Put these details in writing – a email between you and one of the Directors is fine
  • Review the status of the workload before the date the overtime is set to end (if more than two days).

Recording Overtime

For all overtime worked, you must submit the details by email to Vineeta, and cc Rachael and Mohib, before the 24th of the month to ensure that you receive compensation with your salary.

How you record hours is up to you, but you must include the number of hours, the dates they were worked and justification for your request (details of what you did in this time). To make it easy for you, we’ve created a template you are free to save to your own drive and use if you wish.

Overtime Record Sheet

Compensation

Provided correct recording procedure has been followed, you will receive compensation for any overtime worked at the end of the month, with your usual salary. Any overtime hours will be marked as such on your payslip.

This policy is intended as a guide and legal requirements will always be adhered to. You would not be asked to work any overtime beyond the current legal limit. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask. This policy may be updated from time to time but you will be given notice of any changes that may affect your current contract.

Expenses Policy

The purpose of this expense policy is to provide guidance to any employees claiming reasonable expenses incurred in connection with Wholegrain Digital business.

Scope

This policy covers the reimbursement of purchases relating to:

Equipment

Wholegrain will provide you with the equipment necessary to carry out duties to relating to your role. Further information on this can be found in our Communications Policy. Should you require further equipment, then please first request this, and we can purchase it for you.

If you need to purchase something urgently – for example, if a delay would prevent you from doing your work effectively, then you may purchase smaller items for reimbursement, following approval from one of the company directors.

Software subscriptions

Wholegrain has subscriptions to all the services you will need to carry out your role effectively. However, should you identify something that would help you, and particularly the wider team, to work even better, then we will consider paying this subscription for you with the company credit card.

If you already have a subscription when you begin working at Wholegrain that you require for your role, we may consider reimbursing you for this subscription or taking this on for you.

Subsistence

We do not provide reimbursement for subsistence for you personally while at work, however, should you buy drinks for client meetings then we will reimburse you for this.

While attending meetings at Impact Hub Westminster, we encourage you to make teas and coffees with the supplies available in the kitchen in the first instance, rather than buying from the café, wherever possible.

Telephone

You will be provided with a work mobile phone for business use, and as line rental and calls will be paid for by us, there should be no expenses incurred in this regard.

Should you need to use your personal mobile or land line phone for business use for a limited period (e.g. If your work mobile does not work and you are waiting for a replacement), then we will reimburse you for business calls made, on receipt of an itemised VAT bill with relevant calls highlighted.

Training courses

If you undertake any training relevant to your role, Wholegrain may agree to reimburse you in whole or in part for this expense.

Before booking any training course, please discuss with the company directors how this will benefit you and the business, to agree how payment will be made. If payment is made in full, then Wholegrain will pay for the course in advance, for you.

If you have already made arrangements and we agree to reimburse you, or we agree to pay for a course in part only, then you will be reimbursed on production of a VAT receipt for the course.

Travel expenses

When travelling for work, the company will cover the cost of your transport and when appropriate, also your food and accommodation. Travelling for work means that it’s required as part of your job, but is not part of your normal commute into the office or to a client’s office. You can read more on what we define as reasonable expenses in our Travelling for Work article.

Exclusions

Generally, Wholegrain Digital will not reimburse costs relating to:

  • Broadband/Internet provision
  • Fines
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenditure.

How to claim expenses

Unless arranged and paid for in advance, in which case we will already have the receipts, then every expense claim should be accompanied by a VAT receipt, in accordance with HMRC regulations.

The scanned receipt should be sent to one of the company directors, along with a note describing what it was for and requesting reimbursement. The original receipt should then be passed to Rachael, for filing for tax purposes.

All expenses received will be reimbursed either the Friday following receipt, or with your pay at the end of the month, whichever comes first.

This policy is intended as a comprehensive guide but should you still be unsure whether an activity or item can be reimbursed, please check with the company directors. This policy may be updated from time to time.

 

Communications Policy

Wholegrain Digital provides all employees with access to a wide range of communications equipment and resources including, but not limited to:

  • A company email address with gmail
  • Access to the company’s Slack account
  • Access to the company’s RedBooth account.

You can read more about the use of these resources in the below articles:

Internal Communication

Communicating with Clients

A laptop and company phone may also be provided as necessary to carry out duties relating to your role.

This policy applies to all employees using hardware or software provided by, and belonging to Wholegrain Digital, regardless of the details contained within any contract you may have with us. This policy is does not form part of your employment contract and may be subject to change at any time.

Our Responsibilities

It is our responsibility to:

  • Ensure that we provide you with all the resources reasonably required to effectively carry out your role
  • Ensure the security of these resources against unauthorised access or abuse, while ensuring that they remain available to all authorised and legitimate users
    • To this end, Wholegrain Digital reserves the right to carry out random monitoring of any online activity that takes place while you are logged into google, or any other software that identifies you as representing the company.

Your Responsibilities

It is your responsibility to:

  • Take appropriate care of any equipment provided to you by us, ensuring that it is well maintained, and notifying us of any issues with this equipment as soon as possible
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure the security of any equipment provided
  • Maintain the security of any passwords you use to log in to any software or hardware provided by the company. We recommend using LastPass to generate secure passwords, and remember them for you (but don’t forget you LastPass password! We can’t help if you lose this one)
  • Adhere to the email guidelines when communicating with clients, always being mindful of security should there be a need to discuss highly sensitive information, in which case it may be best to consider another form of communication. You should never enter into a contract of agreement with a client or potential client by email unless expressly authorised by one of the Company Directors
  • When using the internet, always remember that if you are logged in using your wholegraindigital.com email address, you are identifiable as representing the company and company activities. As such, you should always exercise good judgement and discretion regarding the websites you visit and activities you undertake online.

Misuse of resources

We’re sure you won’t, but legally we have to remind you not to misuse any of the resources provided to you for communication in any way that could result in disciplinary or legal action in any context.

 

 

 

 

Policy on dealing with Harassment

Wholegrain is committed to ensuring equal opportunities and fair treatment in the workplace for all employees. One of the key aims of this policy is to enable the organisation to provide a working environment in which all staff feel comfortable and in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital or family status, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, creed, culture, religion or belief, age, disability or any other personal factor or quality.

Policy Aim

This policy aims to ensure that no employee, or other worker within the organisation, is subjected to any form of harassment or bullying. The purpose of this policy is to provide a route for employees who believe that they have been harassed or bullied to raise a complaint, either informally or formally.

The company will treat all complaints of harassment seriously and will investigate them promptly, efficiently and in confidence. The main aim of this policy is to provide a framework for resolving complaints of harassment or bullying and for stopping any behaviour that is causing offence or distress.

Your right to raise a complaint

Employees have an absolute right to complain if they are treated in a manner that they believe constitutes harassment or bullying. This will include behaviour that has caused offence, humiliation, embarrassment or distress. Apart from complaints about the behaviour of colleagues, employees have the right to complain if they believe that they have been bullied or harassed by a third party, for example, a client or supplier. Employees who raise a genuine complaint under this policy will under no circumstances be subjected to any unfavourable treatment or victimisation as a result of making a complaint.

However, if it is established that an employee has made a deliberately false or malicious complaint against another person about harassment or bullying, disciplinary action will be taken against that employee.

Any employee who witnesses an incident that they believe to be the harassment or bullying of another member of staff should report the incident in confidence either to the Company Directors or Team Admin. The company will take all such reports seriously and will treat the information in strict confidence, as far as it is possible to do so.

How to make a complaint

Before raising a formal complaint, the employee is encouraged in the first instance to talk directly and informally to the person whom they believes is harassing them and explain clearly what aspect of the person’s behaviour is unacceptable, or is causing offence, and request that it stop. It may be that the person whose conduct is causing offence is genuinely unaware that their behaviour is unwelcome or objectionable and that a direct approach can resolve the matter without the need for formal action. Where an employee would like support to make such an approach, they should contact the Directors or Team Admin.

If, however, the employee feels unable to take this course of action, if they have already approached the person to no avail, or if the harassment is of a very serious nature, they may elect to raise a formal complaint. Formal complaints may be raised with Directors or Team Admin.

In bringing a complaint of harassment/bullying, the employee should be prepared to state:

  • The name of the person whose behaviour they believe amounts to harassment or bullying
  • The type of behaviour that is causing offence, together with specific examples if possible
  • Dates and times when incidents of harassment or bullying occurred, and where they occurred
  • The names of any employees who witnessed any incidents, or who themselves may have been the victims of harassment or bullying by the same person; and
  • Any action that the employee has already taken to try to deal with the harassment.

The responsible person who receives a complaint of harassment has a duty to investigate the matter thoroughly and objectively and to take corrective action in order to ensure that the organisation’s policy is complied with. The responsible person should be responsive and supportive towards any employee who raises a genuine complaint of harassment or bullying. All incidents of harassment/bullying should, in any event, be reported to the appointed person.

The organisation reserves the right, at its discretion, to suspend any employee who is under investigation for harassment or bullying for a temporary period whilst investigations are being carried out. Such suspension will be for as short a time as possible and will be on full pay.

Any employee accused of harassment or bullying will be informed of the exact nature of the complaint against them and afforded a full opportunity to challenge the allegations and put forward an explanation for their behaviour in a confidential interview, with a companion present if they wish. No employee will be presumed guilty following an allegation of harassment or bullying against them.

The organisation regards all forms of harassment and bullying as serious misconduct and any employee who is found to have harassed or bullied a colleague will be liable to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal.

The organisation will maintain records of investigations into alleged incidents of harassment or bullying, the outcome of the investigations and any corrective or disciplinary action taken. These records will be maintained in confidence and in line with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Trade Unions

At Wholegrain, we operate a neutral policy about trade unions. If you so wish, you can join a union in your own capacity. However, we sincerely hope that if there are any employment related issues, we would be able to resolve them through consultation and negotiation within the company, through a transparent and fair channel.

Induction Process

First of all, we’d like to extend the warmest welcome to the Wholegrain Digital team! We’re happy to have you and hope that you will be as happy here as we are.

On your first day, a member of the team (or several!) will sit with you and go through all the main things you need to know about Wholegrain Digital and how we work. The below links will provide further information for this.

This website is our employee handbook and you’ll find everything you need to know about life a Wholegrain Digital here. If you can’t find something, just ask as we should probably add it! 🙂

Who We Are

The heart of Wholegrain can be summed up in our mission statement, which was written by Tom and made into a beautiful video by our resident Photographer and Project Manager, Amina. This is how we Define Success. ……

Where we are

On your first day you will be shown around our office, which is a co-working space on Haymarket, just down the road from Piccadilly Circus.

Your first day will most likely be a Tuesday as this is our ‘team day’, when we all come in and work from the office. The rest of the time we work remotely.

Read more about working from the office

Read more about working remotely

Staying in touch

Remote working is a big part of the culture here at Wholegrain Digital and we support our team to take advantage of the benefits, which we passionately believe make for a happier and healthier life. You can hear Tom’s thoughts on remote working in his talk from WordCamp Brighton 2016,on  Happiness and the Art of Remote Working.

As we work remotely most of the time and often do not see each other (or our clients) face-to-face, good communication is vital.

Read more on how we communicate with each other

Read more on how we communicate with our clients

Recording Hours

We need to record our hours both for payroll and to keep track of the time we are spending on client projects for invoicing purposes.

Read more on how we record our hours for Personal and Project timesheets

Project Management

Even if you’re not a Project Manager yourself, it helps to know a little about how we manage projects.

Talk to a project manager to learn more.

Team Day

We have an at least one team building day per year, and we aim to arrange it on a working day that suits everyone so we can all attend. It usually takes place in early summer (June/July), and we decide together what we will do and where we will go. It’s a great way to get to know the team better and have fun! 🙂

There will be comprehensive induction reading list in the new version of The Granary, with many more articles that you should read in your first weeks at Wholegrain but this should be enough for your first day!

Financial transparency

As a limited company, our annual accounts are published to Companies House.

We do not publish any further public accounts. However, if team members are interested in the company’s finances and would like specific information, or have questions about them, then this will be provided so long as it does not:

  • Compromise the privacy of individual team members
  • Compromise client confidentiality
  • Pose a commercial risk or conflict of interest.

In cases where the information requested cannot be provided, a reason will be given.

Working from the office

Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to know about working from the office.

The space

The office is located at Impact Hub Westminster, 1st Floor New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket in London, just down the road from Piccadilly Circus.

It’s a shared space with many positive organisations and it’s a great place to meet good people. It consists of an open plan office space, meeting rooms, a café, a kitchen, and two event spaces. At all times you must follow any rules set out by the Impact Hub hosts. The hosts are the lovely people that look after the space and everyone in it. They sit at a desk opposite the main entrance by the lifts and next to the café, and are very helpful should you have any questions about life at the Hub. 🙂

Access

You’ll be issued with a swipe card to access the building. You can use this at any time when the space is open. If you lose your swipe card, inform a host ASAP and they will issue you with a new one. Never allow others to enter the building using your card. You can also use the back entrance to exit and enter the building during breaks, but you can only enter through this door if you have exited through it first.

If you need to bring guests into the space, you should register them 24 hours or more in advance using the online registration form (ask a team member or host for the link), or by adding them downstairs at security on the day. Guests must sign in before they enter the building and should return their passes to security when they exit.

Time spent at the office

You can enter the building as often as you like but as a company, we pay for the typical amount of time that you expect to work there in an average month. Therefore, if you ever expect this to vary significantly, you should inform a company director who will ensure that we pay the appropriate fees.

Where to sit

You can sit at any table that has space and that isn’t marked by the flag of another company. You’ll soon realise that we tend to sit together at the “usual table” as we are creatures of habit, but there’s no harm mixing it up from time to time.

Meeting rooms

If you want to use a meeting room you must first check with the hosts to ensure that it’s available. If you know that you will need one for a meeting, then it is advisable to book in advance byt emailing hosts@hubwestminster.net. Use of the meeting rooms is fairly costly, so although you’re allowed to use them whenever you need to, we request that you don’t book them out willy-nilly. Similarly, if you book one and then don’t need it, you must inform the hosts otherwise we will get charged for it and others will be unable to use it.

Lunch and breaks

Just like when you are working at home, you can take breaks whenever you need them. Just let someone know so that we don’t send out a search party for you. You can do whatever you like for lunch, whether you want to bring your own from home, grab something from our office café, or pop out to one of the many nearby cafés and sandwich shops. It is entirely up to you.

From time to time we go out for lunch as a team but that is nearly always arranged in advance so you’ll know about it.

Keeping tidy

As a shared space, it makes life more pleasant for everyone when we all make an effort to keep it clean and tidy. In particular, you must do your own washing up in the kitchen.

Health and safety

Please keep your eye out for hazards in the office, and do your best not to create hazards such as trailing wires or bags left where people could trip. If you see something that could present a risk, either fix the issue immediately if it’s safe to do so, or inform one of the hosts. If an accident happens, you must report it to one of the hosts who will call a first aider and will also record the incident in the accident book.

In the event of a fire, an alarm will sound. If you hear the fire alarm, please follow the signs to the nearest fire exit and take the stairs. Do not use lifts during this time. Once you are out of the building, follow the crowd to the fire assembly point across the road, or wait for the Hosts’ further announcements outside.

The Fire alarm is tested every Friday at 10:00am. During the test alarm, remain calm and do not take any action unless you are asked to do so.

You must also take note of our general health and safety policy.

Printer, Scanner and Wifi

The Hub provides use of the printer and scanner, and free wi-fi.

We try to avoid printing wherever possible, but should you really (really!) have to print something, then your swipe card activates the printers, and a member of the team can let you know what the default passcode is. Your user ID is the number on the front of your swipe card.

The printers do scan but most of us use an app to create pdf versions of physical documents (contracts etc). It’s called CamScanner and you can download it from itunes or Google Play.

Refreshments

The Hub Hosts provide us with free coffee (including decaf), tea, some herbal teas, milk (and some dairy free alternatives), sugar, water, cups, plates and cutlery. Make sure you keep the kitchen area tidy and wash your cups and anything else that you use.

There is an on-site cafe; called Cafe Think, that serves fresh food as well a wider range of hot drinks. Of course you can also bring your own food, just write your name on it and store it in the fridge.

Storage

If you need to leave something small at the office, then you can use our team locker. Just ask and you’ll be issued with a key. You can also leave items on top or underneath the locker, but only for short periods of time because it makes the space messy and the hosts might clear it away without you knowing where it went.

Impact Hub Westminster is a very safe environment but you must accept that you leave things there at your own risk.

Post

You will find Wholegrain post box in the corner opposite Host desk on first floor. Rachael and Mohib usually collect the post but if you are expecting post feel free to check here whenever you are in the hub. We share the first slot with two other companies, so you may need to look through to see what’s ours.

Toilets

Toilets are located on first floor next to the lifts and opposite the main Hub entrance.