working arrangements

Introduction

As a remote-first marketing agency, you have a lot of independence as to when and how you work. This section will run through our approach to flexible working as well as our leave policies.

We don’t have a list of conduct standards because ultimately it comes down to 3 things

  • Complying with all the law, policies, procedures and reasonable management instructions and use common sense and good judgment in new situations
  • Put the best interests of our clients’ and team above your own
  • Reach out if you’re unsure on any decision

You should know what is and isn’t acceptable. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be here. We play as a team, requiring all of us to pull our weight and pitch in.

Flexible Working

Seriously, you can work from wherever you want.

Any location must have stable internet that can handle your work, including video conferencing. You should also have your own space where you’ll be able to make sensitive calls.

Some roles, such as customer support, have limited flexibility in terms of hours as we need to ensure everyone is responded to quickly. Unless you have specified hours, assume you can work as much or as little as you want in a day.

Deadlines are not flexible. If you’re off-track to completing a task on time, please inform the team.

During your working hours, we expect you to communicate with us promptly and share what you’re working on so we can work as a team.

As a full-time role, you should be averaging 30-35 hours a week.

It is expected that you work over 35 hours a week during busy periods. We will provide you at least three days notice. We ask you do not refuse these requests unreasonably.

You are welcome to ask for more hours but you must not work overtime unless we agree to it.

We trust you to be an adult and do not track the hours you work by any automated means. We expect you to have something productive to show for the time you have billed.

At the end of the day, we’ll request you to record the number of hours you work. Round this up to the nearest half-hour.

Pay

You will be contracted under an annual salary which will be paid monthly on PAYE on the last working day of the month.

This monthly payment is based on a 40 hour week (35 hours working with a 1 hour break).

If you work less than 30 hours a week you’ll be paid your salary pro-rata for hours you do work.

You will be paid your usual salary or £15 / hour for any overtime you work.

If there are any changes in your personal circumstances that affect your tax status, you need to notify HMRC.

Sick Leave

Providing your sickness prevents you from working you may take any sick days you need at full pay. Be reasonable and use good judgement here. If you’ve just sprained your ankle, you probably can still use a laptop though if your fingers are strapped together that’s a different story.

You may take as many mental health days as you need.

You’re free to attend any appointments you like though for minor appointments we request you use flexible hours rather than taking a full sick day. We’ll request more information if you are frequently taking sick days, such as asking for your appointment letter.

If you want to take sick leave, please let us know as soon as you can via Slack or calling/emailing our MD. If you can, please send any urgent / in-progress work not already shared, so we’re able to work on it in your absence.

If you’re absent for more than seven days in a row, you need to send us in a sick note.  

If you’re unable to work long-term (absent for more than seven days), you’ll be placed on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for a maximum of 28 weeks. We’ll top this up to your usual wages for the first 14 weeks.

If you need us to continue to top up your SSP after this, please contact our directors to determine a reasonable amount on a case-by-case basis.

If you’re ineligible for SSP, we will send you an SSP1 form that will detail why you’re ineligible and what to do next.

We’ll keep in regular contact to see if there is anything we can do as a company to support your return to work such as moving you to a part-time contract. If you are going to return, we’ll request that you have a “fit for work” certificate from your doctors and an interview with us to discuss any arrangements that need to be made.

After 28 weeks (when SSP ends) we’ll have a formal meeting to discuss your long-term outcomes, and if it’s likely, you’ll be able to return to the company. If we’re unable to make adjustments for that to be possible, termination may be considered.

You may bring a companion to any discussions about your illness, including a trade union representative.

If we set a dismissal date, you may appeal the decision setting out your reasons within seven days. While the appeal is ongoing, we will continue with dismissal as usual. If however, your request is successful, we will ensure you have no loss of pay.

Failure to provide evidence of sickness, or to attend a meeting regarding your return to work without reasonable excuse will be considered misconduct by unauthorised absence.

Medical Report

It may be necessary for us to obtain a medical report during your employment to understand better any conditions and their effect on your future attendance at work.

You have the right to withhold your consent to this, though we may still assess the impact of your health without professional advice.

You may also be asked to speak to a doctor we appoint, and we have the right to view any report for such a meeting. You may refuse; however, this could result in disciplinary action as a failure to follow a reasonable management instruction.

If we’re concerned about your physical or mental health, you may be suspended on medical grounds until we can confirm you’re fit to work. You’ll receive full pay for this period.

We will always act sympathetically, responsibly and in your best interests as much as possible, while balancing any detriment to the company.

Disabilities

If you have or develop, a medical condition that impacts your attendance at work we will put you on a part-time contract to give you greater flexibility than our “flexible hours” to work less than 30 hours a week.

However, we cannot sustain a prolonged period of absence and we will consider termination of your employment at the end of SSP if we still don’t have a return date.

We ask that you keep our directors updated in confidence if you have or develop any medical conditions.

As part of our family, we’re ready to support you in life matters as much as we can as well as your work. Being open about your physical and mental health allows us to make adjustments to make your time here better.

Holiday Pay

Our Holiday Year runs from the 1st April to the 31st March.

We take a generous but fixed approach to holidays to ensure it is fair for all.

You may only take six days holiday in your first six months. From then on you’ll be entitled to the remainder of our full holiday pay.

We offer 40 days of paid holiday a year. This is broken down into:

  • 28 days statutory holiday
  • 8 bank holidays (on the day or in lieu)
  • 3 days to volunteer/work with a charity of your choice.
  • 1 Birthday (yours)

We’d encourage you to space holidays out throughout the year, so you’re able to get a much-needed break every quarter though you’re welcome to take a big summer holiday with the family too.

At a minimum, you must take three weeks holiday. We can’t force you, but a work-life balance involves living so please, take it.

We’ll do everything we can to let you take your full holiday though that won’t always be possible during client’s busy times.

How to request time off

Please give as much notice as possible that you want to take off a holiday. For double-booked holiday’s it’s a first come first served if we’d be left short-staffed.

At a minimum, we need double the holiday time in notice for anything longer than a week. So two weeks holiday is four weeks notice.

For requests under five days, please let us know during business hours the day before (though more notice is better please), this is Friday if you’re taking Monday off.

Slack/email our directors with your start and return dates. We will take a maximum of 5 working days to confirm that for you.

If you’re taking your volunteering days, please provide the name of the organisation you’ll be working for.

For birthdays and bank holidays, please let us know the day before that you won’t be in. Sometimes this will not always be possible, for example, customer service roles or a critical client meeting. Don’t worry, you can roll these over until the following Friday.

Holiday Roll-Over

Holidays do not roll over so you will lose any unused holiday on the 31st March.

Volunteering / Charity work can be taken with any recognised organisation, but they do not accrue while you are on leave, nor will you be paid for them when your employment terminates.

You will not lose your statutory holiday due to sickness, maternity, paternity and adoption leave if you were denied it due to a busy time.

Bank Holiday and Birthday Holidays have to be taken on the day or just after in lieu. They do not roll over past the next Friday and will be lost. They also do not accrue while you are on leave.

On termination of your employment, we will pay you for any remaining holidays you have in our leave year and your birthday and bank holidays if they fall between your date of termination and the 31st March.

Leave Eligibility

Determining leave is a complex issue. We follow the latest gov.uk guidelines to determine if you’re eligible to receive leave. Please contact our directors, so we’re able to have such discussions.

If you’re ineligible, we will fill the needed paperwork to explain why and look to how the company can continue supporting you while you are absent. 

Maternity Pay

We offer the statutory provision of 52 weeks maternity pay consisting of Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) for 26 weeks and Additional Maternity Leave (AML) for the remaining 26 weeks.

You must take at least two weeks off by law. 

If you’ve been with us less than a year, these will be at statutory rates which we will top up on a case-by-case basis. If you’re not eligible, you’ll be issued with an SMP1 which can be used to claim Maternity Allowance.

You may take any time off for antenatal appointments or IVF with our unlimited sick leave policy.

Enhanced Maternity Pay (EMP)

If you’ve been with us a year, you’re eligible for Enhanced Maternity Pay.

For the first 26 weeks, we’ll top up Statutory Maternity Pay to your usual pay.

For the remaining 26 weeks, you’ll continue to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), but we will no longer provide a top-up. If you need financial assistance, please reach out to our directors so we can discuss if a further top-up can be made.

You are only eligible for EMP during the remaining 26 weeks if you intend to return to work. We will ask you to return any EMP provided for the last 26 weeks only if you choose not to return to work. Your SMP is unaffected.

How to Apply

Please provide 28 days notice that you wish to take maternity leave, including your due date and proof of pregnancy to our directors by email to our MD. 

Before you leave, we’ll review your work in progress and ensure all projects are covered and that all files are in our shared drive.

You’ll then be provided with confirmation of the arrangements and the pay you can expect to receive.

Returning to Work

During your Maternity Leave, we’ll informally keep in touch with you to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support you, and see how you are.

You can have 10 KIP (Keeping In Touch) days at full pay. It’s up to you if and when you take these. These are days when we’ll provide you updates on what’s going on and request some of your ideas for current projects.

When you want to return (or at 52 weeks), we’ll have a formal meeting to discuss a return date and any adjustments you may need to make that possible

Paternity Pay

If you’ve been with us less than a year we offer one month at full pay (enhanced from the statutory provision of 2 weeks). If you are not eligible, we will provide an SPP1 form.

You can attend any appointments with the birth parent at full pay.

Enhanced Paternity Pay (EPP)

If you’ve been with us a year, you’re entitled to enhanced paternity pay.

For the first 26 weeks, this will be at full pay. As there is no statutory amount for paternity pay after 26 weeks, we will determine an appropriate top-up on a case-by-case basis.

You are only eligible for EPP if you intend to return to work. Any paternity pay provided in the final 26 weeks needs to be repaid if you don’t return.

How to Apply

Please provide 28 days notice that you wish to take paternity leave to our directors with the date you wish to return.

Before you leave, we’ll review your work in progress and ensure all projects are covered and that all files are in our shared drive.

You’ll then be provided with confirmation of the arrangements and the pay you can expect to receive.

Returning to Work

When you’re ready to end paternity leave we’ll have a formal meeting to get you up to speed and discuss if any changes need to be made from our previous contract (such as hours) to be more accommodating

Adoption Pay

If you adopt or have a child through surrogacy, we offer the following to birth parents and their co-parent.

If you have been with us less than a year you will be eligible for statutory levels of adoption leave and one month of paternity leave for the co-parent.

You may attend as many appointments as you want during this process. Speak to our directors the same way you’d take time off for Sick Leave.

Enhanced Adoption Leave

If you have been with us a year, you are entitled to Enhanced Adoption Leave.

Both parents will receive 26 weeks at full pay.

The birth parent will receive Statutory Adoption Pay for the remaining 26 weeks. Speak to the directors if you need a top-up to this.

As there is no statutory level for co-parents, we will determine an appropriate top-up on a case-by-case basis if required.

Enhanced Adoption Leave is only offered for parents intending to return to work. If you do not return, you must repay any compensation provided over the statutory limit for the final 26 weeks.

How to Apply

Please provide 28 days notice that you wish to take adoption leave to our MD letting us know if you’re the parent or the coparent and when you expect the child to arrive.

Before you leave we’ll review your work in progress and ensure all projects are covered and that all files are in our shared drive.

You’ll then be provided with confirmation of the arrangements and the pay you can expect to receive.

Returning to Work

When you’re ready to end adoption leave, we’ll have a formal meeting to get you up to speed and discuss if any changes need to be made from our previous contract (such as hours) to be more accommodating.

Shared Parental Leave

If you don’t wish to take maternity or paternity leave, you may share parental leave with the other parent of a child you share responsibility with before their first birthday.

You must have been employed by us for 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before your child’s due date.

You can share up to 52 weeks of leave and 39 weeks of pay. This is paid at the Statutory Shared Parental Pay. Our top-up to this will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

You can take 10 Shared Parental Leave In Touch (SPLIT) days in addition to the 10 days you take for maternity or adoption leave. It’s completely up to you if and when you take these.

How to Apply

You must provide us eight weeks written notice of your leave dates. This should be sent to our MD directors via email. We also need:

  • The birth certificate or declaration if you haven’t registered the birth
  • The name and address of your partner’s employer or a declaration that your partner has no employer

If you’re taking this for an adoptive child, please send:

  • Name and address of the adoption agency
  • The date you were matched with the child
  • The date the child will start to live with you
  • Name and address of your partner’s employer or a declaration your partner has no employer

While you may change them with eight weeks, notice we’d apricate if you could let us know your plans how you intend to split your shared parental leave as soon as you can so we’re able to prepare.

Unpaid Leave

We enhance the statutory provision for parental leave and do not cap any form of unpaid leave.

You can take time off for any reason from caring for family members to attending protests and demonstrations.

Please provide as much notice as possible, though we understand you won’t always be able to do this. Please let us know your expected return date as soon as you have it.

If you’re taking a career break and don’t have an expected return date we reserve the right to fill your position after three months. 

Before taking unpaid leave, consider if you could use flexible hours to make the time back so you’ll still receive pay.

Compassionate Leave

You may take five days off at full pay to deal with a bereavement or domestic emergency, such as a household fire.

Miscarriage

You are still entitled to full maternity or paternity leave if your baby dies after 24 weeks of pregnancy or stillborn.

If you or your partner has a miscarriage before then, you’re entitled to one month’s compassionate leave at full pay.

After that, we’ll have a sensitive discussion about when you’ll feel able to return to work, and any adjustments we may need to make and how we can support you financially in the meantime.

Parental Bereavement Leave

If your child dies under 18, you are entitled to take parental bereavement leave. Both the birth parent and co-parent can take parental bereavement leave.

You may take a statutory two weeks together or two separate weeks of leave at full pay within 56 weeks of the date of the death.

We will also provide two further weeks of compassionate leave at full pay which can be taken on the back of your statutory weeks, or separately.

If the death happened while on another form of statutory leave, Parental Bereavement Leave will start after that has finished. You will still receive four weeks.

If you take this immediately, you must give us notice within three working days of the death. These three days count towards your 4-week entitlement.

If you take this between 3 days to 8 weeks, please provide us notice the working day before you leave.

If you take this between 9-56 weeks, please provide us with a week’s notice.

In the event, you do not qualify; we will complete a non-payment form (SPBP1) within 28 days, which will tell you the reason and what to do next.

Jury Service

You will receive full pay for 10 days of jury service. If your service continues after that, we will fill out a loss of earnings form for you to claim back from the court. 

Magistrate Duty

You will receive full pay for 13 days of magistrate duty.

Religious Leave

Please use your Holidays to take time off for faith observances.

If that is not possible because you have used them all / haven’t accrued any yet, please speak to our directors who will reasonably accommodate your request.

Pension

If you are over 22 years old, you will be automatically enrolled in our company pension. Please speak to management to discuss this.

Leaving the Company

If you wish to leave the company, you must provide us with at least 2 weeks notice (please give more if you can). You must inform our directors of this in writing.

Unless we dismiss you without notice, we will provide two weeks’ notice before dismissing you. We will explain our reasons for doing so in writing.

You will be paid for any remaining statutory holiday, including any bank holidays or your birthday if it falls during your notice period.

We expect you to work during your notice period so we can complete our offboarding process. This ensures that all company property is returned to us, and urgent and in-progress work is completed.

Before your employment ends, we’ll have an informal exit interview to discuss how we can support you in your next steps, such as identifying work for your portfolio and understand your reasons for leaving if you wish to disclose them. 

After leaving the company, you are still bound by our Confidentiality Agreement.