Professional grade pay distribution survey results…

Over 400 of you completed our recent survey on Professional grade pay distribution and the results were as follows:

In favour of Manager Discretion – 16%

In favour of Pay Matrix – 72%

No preference – 7%

Don’t know – 5%

We have communicated the result to the company and we engage with them further on the subject.

By way of comparison when we last asked staff about Professional grade pay distribution (in 2019) the results were as follows:

In favour of Manager Discretion – 35%

In favour of Pay Matrix – 45%

Don’t know – 20%

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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)

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What’s your number one issue at work?

Unite the Union‘s Finance sector is running a national survey for banking, insurance, building society and outsourced finance workers, to identify the number one workplace issue in the sector.

Please help us by completing the survey by clicking here.

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2023 Pay Ballot Result

The result of the 2023 pay ballot is as follows:

For: 71%
Against: 29%

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 for you to vote…

Unite in AXA have issued a newsletter on AXA UK‘s 2023 pay offer and our ballot of members which is now open. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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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

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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.

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SIgn the Fair pay in AXA UK petition…

Unite in AXA are currently engaged in talks with the company over the 2023 pay award. We need you to show how strongly you feel that AXA UK should give you a Fair Pay rise during the current cost of living crisis.

Please sign the petition HERE and encourage your colleagues to do so too…

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Pay Awards elsewhere…

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Inflation plus one…

Unite in AXA have issued a newsletter on the play claim we have submitted to the company on behalf of our members in AXA UK. A series of negotiation meetings with management are scheduled for the New Year. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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