Archive for Working From Home

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.

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AXA listen to Unite petition…

With over 1500 employees having signed our Working From Home allowance petition, we are very pleased that AXA UK have listened and will be putting a place a £26 a month tax and national insurance free allowance for all hybrid workers (except those in very senior positions) over the winter period backdated to the beginning of October.

Unite in AXA are pleased that AXA has agreed to take this action following our discussions given the pressures hybrid workers are facing on heating and electricity costs this winter.

This does not of course bring an end our discussions with the company on the Cost of Living Crisis and we are still working with them on a number of our suggestions to help staff at this extremely difficult time. Hopefully there will be more good news regarding help for struggling employees in the coming weeks…

The success here does demonstrate the importance of having your voice heard and there are more issues coming up, including the 2023 pay talks, which we will need the opinions of our members in AXA on soon.

If you do not feel you need the allowance and would like to donate it to charity you might consider giving it to the likes of National Energy Action, The Trussell Trust or Fareshare who are helping people struggling with the Cost of Living crisis…

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Over 1,000 sign WFH allowance petition!

Over one thousand AXA employees have now signed our petition requesting the company to re-instate the Working From Home allowance for hybrid workers or introduce something similar to help staff facing increased heating and electricity costs this winter.

If you haven’t signed the petition yet please do so HERE – and don’t forget to get your work colleagues to as well, the more signatories the more minded the company to look to do something.

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Sign our petition to get the home working allowance back!

At the start of the pandemic when employees were required to work from home AXA UK awarded all staff a weekly allowance of £6 per week to help with increased utility bills, broadband costs etc. With the impact of the pandemic reduced and the majority of employees switching to a hybrid working contract AXA stopped paying this allowance in June last year.

Since then fuel prices (which drive electricity and heating prices) have increased by 12% in October 2021, 54% in April this year and will increase by a further 27% (and that after Government intervention) next month. Employees on hybrid contracts have endured and continue to face increasing costs to work from home that AXA does not help with.

Whilst employees are having now to pay to work at home with increased electricity usage and heating, AXA UK has been making big savings on its property portfolio, combining office locations (like Gloucester and Teesside) or reducing floor occupation (as in the likes of Birmingham, Bristol and Ipswich). Desk availability is now around 2/3 of the employee population, we cannot all work in the office at the same time. The vast majority of employees are now required to partly work from home and pay for the electricity needed to power their equipment to do their job, and heat the rooms they are working in. 

When you work in the office you are not asked to chip in for the electricity to power your PC or light the office, nor are you asked to contribute towards the cost of keeping the office heated. Why should you have to do this just because you are working in a different location that also happens to be your home?

AXA does pay a home working allowance to a much smaller population to “cover domestic costs like additional utility bills”; those employees designated “non-office based workers”. Whilst some of these do not work near an AXA office, and rarely if ever visit one, a considerable number of them visit AXA offices as regularly as some on hybrid worker contracts.

This inconsistency, along with the cost hybrid workers are facing to work from home (when AXA is making savings from employees doing this) is why we are calling on AXA to re-instate the working from home allowance for hybrid workers, or provide some pro-rata allowance to cover the days employees now work at home rather than the office.

They are reluctant to do this which is why we are asking you, the employees, to sign this petition, and encourage your colleagues to do so to, so management understand the strength of feeling on this issue and re-consider their stance in asking employees to pay to work form home, whilst they make big savings in reduced property costs across the UK.


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