Pay 2023 joint AXA/Unite statement

  • This statement applies to all AXA UK employees other than those in AXA Health
  • The 2023 pay budget has been negotiated by AXA and Unite
  • A 7% pay review budget has been offered for the Unite bargaining group (Associates, Senior Associates and Professionals). Pay awards for each of these grades will be distributed via a fixed matrix which accounts for an individual’s 2022 performance and current position in the pay range
  • A 7% pay review budget will also be provided to Senior Professionals, Leaders and Senior Leaders, following consultation with AXA’s Manager representatives. Individual pay awards for employees in these grades will be made by manager discretion 
  • The Hybrid Working Allowance will be extended on an on-going basis
  • Unite members will go to ballot (i.e. vote on the offer) between 16th and 22nd February
  • All pay increases will be effective 1 April 2023

Each year the pay budget (the amount of spend allocated to pay increases) and how it is distributed out to our people is reviewed. These elements are negotiated between AXA and Unite for all AXA UK employees in Associate to Professional grades, except for those in AXA Health.

AXA Health has also released their own pay statement today. 

Overall budgets

This year’s negotiations between AXA and Unite have taken place during a very challenging economic backdrop, with high inflation and a cost-of-living pressures putting pressure on both our people and our business.  Despite this difficult backdrop, negotiations have progressed in good spirits with both sides trying to find a fair outcome. 

Negotiations have now concluded with an offer of a 7% overall pay budget increase for all colleagues across the Associate to Professional grades. 

Similarly, a budget increase of 7% will also apply to the Senior Professional to Senior Leader grades, as agreed during consultation with AXA’s Manager Representatives. 

How AXA distributes pay awards – matrix vs. discretionary approaches

AXA distributes pay awards based on either a matrix or discretionary approach according to employee grade. Both approaches are described in more detail below, but this table shows which approach, and proposed pay budget value, applies to each employee grade in 2023:

Matrix pay distributionDiscretionary pay distribution
AssociateYes – 7% budgetNo
Senior AssociateYes – 7% budgetNo
ProfessionalYes – 7% budgetNo
Senior ProfessionalNoYes – 7.0% budget
LeaderNoYes – 7.0% budget
Senior LeaderNoYes – 7.0% budget

Unlike recent years, Professional grades are being included in the matrix pay distribution approach for 2023 awards. 

2023 Matrix pay distribution approach (Associate, Senior Associate & Professional)

The total 2023 pay budget increase (the amount available to spend) for this group is 7%, however the actual pay award for each individual will be influenced by their performance rating and the position of their salary in the pay range. Following the matrix below, this means that larger awards will be provided to those with a higher performance rating and those positioned at the lower end of the pay range.

Further information about how pay is distributed using the matrix (including how to calculate your position in range) can be found on the My Pay page on ONE.

Why is AXA proposing to include the Professional grade in the matrix approach in 2023? 

In recent years, Professional grades have typically been included in the discretionary approach of distributing pay. However, we are changing this approach for 2023.

Feedback received from our Professional-graded colleagues is that they would prefer to have the greater certainty of pay award outcomes that a matrix pay approach provides. 

At this point, this change is effective for the 2023 pay awards only but we have agreed with Unite that we will conduct a review later in the year to review the matrix approach and the grades that it is applied to. The outcome of that review will take effect for the 2024 pay awards. 

2023 Discretionary pay approach – Senior Professional, Leader & Senior Leader

Managers who are responsible for making pay decisions during the pay review process (also known as Pool Heads) will use their discretion to provide pay awards for employees in Senior Professional to Senior Leader grades, keeping within the overall 7% budget.

Pool Heads consider a range of factors when making a decision on an individual’s pay including their performance, position in the salary range, the external market and comparison to peers. Outcomes are reviewed centrally to ensure fairness. The process for these checks and the guidance provided to Pool Heads ahead of pay review are reconsidered each year to ensure that they continue to be fit for purpose and lead to appropriate pay outcomes.

Hybrid Working Allowance

The Hybrid Working Allowance of £6 per week is to continue on an on-going basis (subject to HMRC continuing or modifying the arrangement). The payments will be available to all employees at all levels up to Senior Leader (apart from those who are 100% office-based) and are not subject to tax or National Insurance Contributions. 

Adjustments to pay ranges

Minimum salaries in the UK pay ranges were uplifted above the new Real Living Wage for National and London in October 2022.

Pay ranges have been assessed again to determine whether further adjustments are required, keeping the external market in mind. The revised 2023 pay ranges will be available in the Manager area on ONE towards the end of February and will be effective 1 April 2023. 

Competency Frameworks

Spot rates in the Insurance Competency Frameworks were reviewed in October 2022, with uplifts being applied where spot rates remained lower than the new AXA UK minimum salary.  

All current frameworks are now being reviewed against the market and any further adjustments to spot rates will be applied with effect on 1 April 2023.

Next steps

Unite members will go to ballot on this offer between the 16th and 22nd February. The final pay budget won’t be confirmed until the results of the ballot are known.

Individual pay outcomes will be formally communicated to employees in March and any pay increases will take effect from 1 April 2023.

There is more information on the pay review process on the My Pay page on ONE. Please speak to your line manager or Unite representative if you have any further questions. 

Claudio Gienal                                    Dominic Hook

Group Chief Executive                        National Officer

AXA UK & Ireland                             Unite the Union

Joint statement 2023 (not) coming soon…

Unite in AXA reps have been contacted by members at a number of sites about a pay statement coming today. This appears to be the result of a post on One last week “Joint Statement Coming Soon” which had been scheduled by the AXA‘s internal comms team based on the anticipated negotiations timetable and not removed to reflect the fact that the 2023 pay talks are taking longer than normal to reach a mutually acceptable position for us to ballot members. Talks are continuing and when we have some news to share we will do so.

Commercial fail to consult (again)…

Members in Commercial Branches will now be aware that AXA Commercial is requiring them to work in the office a minimum three days of week. This change to team agreements in place since June 2021 was done without any consultation with, or the knowledge of, Unite in AXA. Following the unilateral suspension of flexitime back in 2019 – again without consultation (as required by the flexitime policy) we had hoped Commercial management would be following Group policy on social dialogue.

The country-wide diktat from the Company appears to contradict the changes to hybrid working contract email sent to staff in June 2021 which stated the levels of office/home working would be decided by “team agreements” (which are agreed at a local not national level) and would take into account you “own preferences”. This instruction from the Commercial exec does not comply with this and we believe could well break rules around custom and practice on working patterns. On top of this we are surprised that management think it is a good idea to increase commuting and travelling costs for under pressure employees during a cost of living rise, especially when many of these staff are not paid the market rate for the role they have.

If you are impacted by these changes and would like to challenge them, could you please contact you local Unite rep as soon as possible.