AXA EWC meets in Paris

The AXA European Works Council, with union representatives from AXA operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain and the UK is being held in Paris.

The UK delegates are asking Group President Thomas Burberl questions on employee burn-out, surveillance of employees working from home and ethical insurance underwriting.

Unite call for Covid protocols to be reinstated…

Following the announcement by the Government over the weekend re-introducing some of the Covid-19 protocols from earlier in the year, namely the use of masks in shops and on public transport, Unite in AXA have called on the company to reinstate some of its own.

Whilst the Government has not mandated the wearing of masks in offices it is somewhat incongruous that an employee has to wear a mask to get to work but has no requirement to do so when in work. We have asked AXA to reinstate the rule that when employees get up from their desk, that they should put on a mask to help protect their colleagues.

Also, whilst the requirement to work form home has not been reintroduced yet, we are asking the company to ensure that when staff are required to go in to the office, that there is some valid business reason, and is not just an arbitrary requirement to ensure an employee has been in the office a set number of days, regardless of any need for them to do so.

Hopefully these measures will help in the ingoing battle against Covid and help reduce the spread of the virus in the run up to Xmas.

Do I Still Have To Wear A Mask?

Following Claudio’s email to all staff yesterday evening we have been asked can AXA insist that employees wear a mask in the office after 19th July “as it is no longer a legal requirement?”

Short answer is yes.

At no point has it actually been a legal requirement in England for staff working in an office to wear a mask. Those legal requirements were restricted to retail and hospitality. 

However AXA UK decided that when staff were away from their desk they should put a mask on to protect other employees. They are perfectly within their rights to do this as they need to make sure they are protecting all workers’ health and safety and wearing a mask protects others.

We appreciate some individuals may be unhappy with this but AXA has legal obligations to protect workers and this is one way they will be doing so in the immediate future. Refusal to comply with company instructions could well result in disciplinary action so please continue to put on your mask if you are in the office and away from your desk.

Parents! We want to hear from you…

Are you home-schooling or in a household with young children? Unite in AXA are holding sessions to see how this lockdown is impacting on you. The sessions will be held on Bluejeans and are open to all AXA employees with childcare responsibilities. The Meetings are as follows:

Thursday 18th February: 12-2pm (BluejeansMeeting ID: 974140311)

Thursday 18th February: 6-8pm (Bluejeans Meeting ID: 196858840)

Friday 19th February: 12-2pm (BluejeansMeeting ID: 683346883)

2021 pay ballot now open…

The 2021 pay ballot for members in the AXA UK bargaining unit is now open and will close at 2pm on Friday 19th February.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis this years ballot will be undertaken electronically. Local reps will email members with instructions on how to vote. You will need your Unite the Union membership number to be able to vote. If you have not received an email with the instructions on how to vote within the next couple of days or cannot remember your membership number, please contact your local rep, a list can be found here.

Pay 2021 – joint AXA/Unite statement

  • The pay review budget has been negotiated between AXA and Unite
  • This statement applies to all AXA UK employees other than AXA Health or AXA – Global Healthcare
  • A 1.5% pay review budget has been offered
  • Individual pay increases will vary based on performance and position in pay range 
  • Unite balloting will take place from 8th-19th February

This statement tells you the overall pay review budget (how much AXA has to spend on pay increases) and framework (how AXA will spend it) for 2021. This is negotiated between AXA and Unite for all Associate to Professional band employees in AXA UK, other than AXA Health or AXA – Global Healthcare.

Overall budget

This year’s talks have concluded with an offer of a 1.5% total pay review budget for employees in Associate to Professional bands. The same budget will apply to the Senior Professional to Senior Leader bands. Whilst the overall budget will be shared across all eligible employees, individual increases will vary based on the circumstances set out below. The same 1.5% budget will apply in AXA Health and AXA – Global Healthcare. Any pay increases will take effect from 1 April 2021. 

Associate to Senior Associate Pay Approach

Though the 2021 pay review budget (the amount available to spend) is 1.5%, actual pay awards for individuals will vary according to two factors – 2020 performance rating and position in pay range. This means that the budget will be geared more towards those with higher individual performance and those positioned at the low end of the pay range, following the matrix below.

Individual outcomes will be formally communicated to employees in March. 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.

Professional to Senior Leader Pay Approach

Senior managers who are responsible for pay decisions for the pay review process (also known as Pool Heads) will have full discretion to set pay awards within the overall budget for employees in Professional to Senior Leader bands. These decisions are made in the context of a range factors including individual performance, the external market and comparable pay between peers. Outcomes are reviewed centrally to ensure fairness and we have reviewed these checks and balances this year (including guidance given to Pool Heads) in order to ensure that they continue to lead to good outcomes for employees. 

Other adjustments to Pay Ranges

AXA UK will increase minimum salaries in the pay ranges in line with the Real Living Wage for National and London (£17,290 and £19,747, respectively, for a 35-hour FTE contract). The latest pay ranges are available on ONE and are effective 1 April 2021. There’s more information on the pay review process on the My Pay & Benefits pages on ONE. 

Next steps

Unite will ballot its members on this offer, with the ballot taking place between the 8th and 19th February.

Please speak to your line manager or Unite representative if you have any questions.

Other AXA entities based in the UK will have their own pay arrangements.

 Claudio Gienal                                                  Dominic Hook

Group Chief Executive                                    National Officer

AXA UK & Ireland                                              Unite the Union