Professional grade pay distribution…

For a few years now the pay awards for Professional grade employees have been decided by the individual determination of their manager, rather than the pay matrix as previous, which is still used for Associate and Senior Associate Grade awards. This year however, given the cost of living crisis and soaring inflation, we agreed with the company that to ensure an element of certainty in what Professional staff would receive, that their pay awards would be decided using the pay matrix.

We are now engaged in discussion with the company as to whether annual Professional pay awards going forward should remain within the matrix or revert back to manager discretion.

It is argued that manager discretion is more nuanced and allows managers the ability to fix discrepancies. Counter arguments are that there is a lack of transparency, that to give one employee a higher award, it is at the expense of their colleagues due to the fixed pay pot, that there is no demonstrable benefit to the business in improvement retention or staff satisfaction and that managers time could be better used elsewhere.

As we represent Professional grades for consultation in AXA Commercial, AXA Retail and AXA UK Centralised Functions (IT, HR, Finance etc), we want to hear from you and what your thoughts are as to the approach you would prefer to see going forward by competing this short survey (click here)


  1. Jessica Arris-Togher Said,

    July 10, 2023 @ 9:00 am

    I believe pay should be based on a pay matrix. This way it is fair and consistent and your pay reflects your performance for the year. Manager’s discretion invites bias, favouritism and no transparency on what you are working towards.

  2. Lee Davis Said,

    July 10, 2023 @ 9:21 am

    It should be based on matrix, unless there is documentary evidence to support more or less.

  3. Stephen Massie Said,

    July 10, 2023 @ 10:16 am

    Should be based on Matrix unless there would be a discrepancies on end of year mark, then this should be used at managers discrestion

  4. Neal Smith Said,

    July 11, 2023 @ 11:21 am

    A set matrix appears to provide more certainty to me.

  5. Russ Bain Said,

    July 13, 2023 @ 2:45 pm

    I favour the matrix approach, as it is transparent, fair and consistent

  6. Anonymous Said,

    July 11, 2023 @ 11:30 am

    Has anyone actually successfully negotiated a greater pay award that they would receive by matrix?
    My manager has never been prepared to even have those discussions.

  7. Russ Bain Said,

    July 13, 2023 @ 2:46 pm

    No I have never done so

  8. lucy Duncan Said,

    July 19, 2023 @ 11:08 am

    I agree, managers wouldn’t even know how to tackle such a conversation. Then on the flip side staff too wouldn’t be prepared to ask the questions due to lack of being classed as being negative, as anything mentioned around pay is taboo subject

  9. Anon Said,

    July 12, 2023 @ 2:01 pm

    A 4.5% pay increase does hot help with the current cost of living, in effect a pay cut

  10. Russ Bain Said,

    July 13, 2023 @ 4:03 pm

    I agree

  11. Nico Lowe Said,

    July 17, 2023 @ 9:03 am

    Being included within the Matrix I believe is the best and fairest way forward. Also saves managers a lot of time.

  12. anon Said,

    July 17, 2023 @ 10:00 am

    My preference is the pay matrix as it’s a much fairer and consistent approach.

  13. Ben Said,

    July 17, 2023 @ 3:14 pm

    Matrix pay is a fair way of paying, however matrix pay does not directly correlate to the cost of living crisis and the rising inflation.

    Would need to see a much larger figure than a 4.5% increase to keep up with the ‘matrix’ pricing.

  14. LC Said,

    July 17, 2023 @ 3:47 pm

    Having had both, I would prefer a matrix as although it takes away manager discretion, it gives more clarity and certainty. This is very much needed, especially with so many changes at AXA, and us being in the middle of a cost of living crisis. I read recently that the AXA group CEO has a proposed renumeration package increase of 16%…. very interesting reading, when staff certainly aren’t seeing anywhere near this level of increase.

  15. Lucy Duncan Said,

    July 19, 2023 @ 11:18 am

    I just think every role in general needs a good uplift of at least 3k per year (to keep up with cost of living). Then a matrix. Manager discretion isn’t fair in any shape or form.

  16. S Said,

    August 3, 2023 @ 9:01 am

    The vast majority of managers can’t be bothered to go through the hassle of giving out different pay rises to their professional employees and give the matrix anyway.

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