Mental Health Library opened in Boro…

After discovering the primary reason for time off in Teesside was linked to mental health, Unite in AXA and the AXA Teesside Management team decided to open Middlesbrough’s own ‘Mental Health Library’. They saw it as a simple opportunity to provide preventative support to colleagues.

It’s hoped that providing the books can support their development both personally and professionally as well as opening up healthy conversations about mind health in the site.

The library has been a bestseller since it opened, with every single book receiving a rave review so far. There’s a book for everyone on a variety of mind health topics – everything from how emotions are made, to mental clutter, to practical CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) workbooks. Next on the list, the ‘librarians’ are adding an MP3 player, pre-loaded with Mental Health podcasts and music therapies, for those who prefer to plug in and listen than read.

Sean Spinks, Customer Operations & Complaints Director, told us he’s been reading a book from the library called ‘Emotional First Aid’ by Guy Winch. The book is described as ‘a useful tool for anyone who wants to improve his or her outlook on life and resilience against its storms’. Sean told us;

“I’ve not finished the book yet, but it’s a great read so far. It touches on the way we naturally look after ourselves physically, but don’t apply the same principles to our mental health, and Guy talks about how we can start to manage our mind the same way we would our body. I’m looking forward to finishing it and borrowing another one from the library!”

Kriss Wearden, Customer Service Representative and Unite Representative in Teesside, was the driving force behind the opening of the library. He told us;

From my own experiences, AXA provides great support to colleagues for mental wellbeing, but it isn’t always signposted until someone might already be struggling. The idea that colleagues can take away a helpful resource back home to help support them seemed like an easy gap we could fill.”

Kriss also told us he is happy to offer advice to anyone looking to open their own library;

Please get in touch if you want to replicate this in your site. We’ve spent less than £250 on materials to get our library up and running so for any penny-pinchers out there – it doesn’t cost a lot for something so beneficial!  We are always up for freebies too, so if you’d like to donate any materials let me know!”

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2024 Pay Ballot Result

The result of the 2024 pay ballot is as follows:

For: 63%
Against: 37%

We have communicated this to the company.

Thank you to everyone who voted and the local workplace reps for the hard work they put in running the ballot.

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Time to vote…

Unite in AXA members are receiving emails and/or SMS messages with a link to vote in the 2024 pay ballot. If you have not received a link by the end of today please contact

The details of the offer can be found in the Joint Statement (see post below or on One), the company offering a pay pot of 5% for the Bargaining Unit which we negotiate for (Associate, Senior Associate and Professional). This pot is higher than the current inflation figures (CPI 4% RPI 4.9%) and given the difficult trading year in 2023 the company experienced and the size of other offers across the industry we are recommending members accept the offer.

Additionally the company is introducing AXA Cares from 1st April, a global initiative which sees a minimum standard on a number of family friendly policies across the organisation worldwide. This is something that we have been pushing for through the AXA European Works Council and will see some improvement in UK terms such as a doubling of parental leave and the need for paid dependent leave no longer to restricted to emergencies only.

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Pay 2024 joint AXA/Unite statement

Joint Statement 2024

  • This statement applies to all AXA UK employees other than those in AXA Health
  • The 2024 pay budget has been negotiated by AXA and Unite
  • A 5% 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 2023 performance and current position in the pay range
  • A 4% pay review budget will be provided to Senior Professionals, Leaders and Senior Leaders. Individual pay awards for employees in these grades will be made by manager discretion 
  • Unite members will go to ballot (i.e. vote on the offer) between 14 – 19 February
  • All pay increases will be effective 1 April 2024

Each year the pay budget (the amount of spend allocated to pay increases) and how it is distributed out to 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

Negotiations have now concluded with an offer of a 5.0% overall pay budget increase for all colleagues across the Associate to Professional grades. 

Similarly, a budget increase of 4.0% will apply to the Senior Professional to Senior Leader grades, as agreed during a consultation which also included Vox and 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 2024:

Similarly to last year, Professional grades are being included in the matrix pay distribution approach for 2024 awards. The same will also apply for 2025.

2024 Matrix pay distribution approach (Associate, Senior Associate & Professional)

The total 2024 pay budget increase (the amount available to spend) for this group is 5%, 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 2024 Pay Review page on ONE.

Why is AXA proposing to include the Professional grade in the matrix approach in 2024? 

A review took place in 2023 which indicated that most colleagues preferred the simplicity and certainty of the matrix. 

As such, we have agreed to continue with this practice for a two-year period, 2024 and 2025 pay review, after which we will review our approach again. 

2024 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 4% 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.

Adjustments to pay ranges

Minimum salaries in the UK pay ranges will be uplifted above the new Real Living Wage for National and London effective from 1 April 2024.

Pay ranges have been assessed again to determine whether further adjustments are required, keeping the external market in mind. The revised 2024 pay ranges will be available in the Manager area on ONE towards the end of February and will be effective 1 April 2024. 

Competency Frameworks

No changes will be made to Competency Framework pay rates at this point (except for Real Living Wage uplifts). 

All colleagues who are aligned to competency frameworks will remain in scope for the pay matrix (where applicable).

Next steps

Unite members will go to ballot on this offer between 9am Wednesday 14 February to noon Tuesday 20 February. The final pay budget won’t be confirmed until the results of the ballot are known. Unite is a democratic organisation and it is members in AXA who have the final say; if you are a member you are encouraged to vote.

Individual pay outcomes will be formally communicated to employees in March and any pay increases will take effect from 1 April 2024.

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. 

Tara Foley Chief Executive Officer AXA UK & Ireland Dominic Hook National Officer Unite the Union

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Pay 2024: claim submitted…

Unite in AXA have issued a newsletter on the 2024 pay claim submitted to the company today. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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Professionals back on pay matrix…

Following submitting the results of the Professional Grade pay distribution survey to the company and engaging in discussions with them, AXA UK have agreed that the pay awards for Professional grade employees will be calculated in 2024 using the pay matrix, rather than manager discretion.

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey and provided feedback, and to the reps who worked hard at persuading the company to change the distribution back to the approach favoured by employees.

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Pay survey: what you said…

Unite in AXA have issued a newsletter with the results of the recent pay survey. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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Pay 2024…

Unite in AXA have issued a newsletter as we start the 2024 pay round consulting with our members. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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Survey reveals widespread customer abuse…

Unite in AXA have issued a newsletter on the findings of our Customer Abuse survey and what action is being taken next to address the issues identified. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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Time to stop abuse – Unite in AXA launch campaign & survey

All staff have the right not to be subject to any aggressive behaviour or abuse from customers. Unite in AXA have been approached by a number of members about abuse they have suffered so to understand the level of abuse, how widespread it is and whether it is centred in certain parts of the business we are surveying staff after which we will discuss the results with the company and look to resolve any issues identified.

The survey can be accessed here.

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