International Workers’ Memorial Day 2020

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) commemorates those workers.

Every year on April 28th, all around the world the trade union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day (#IWMD20).

We remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. We renew our efforts to organise collectively to prevent more deaths, injuries and disease as a result of work.

Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.

We remember those we have lost.

Theme for 2020: Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic affects every worker regardless of sector or locality. Tens of thousands of workers worldwide have died. More have fallen ill or continue to go to work risking their lives. Many workers are still attending work ill-equipped and without necessary safety measures in place.

While we may not be able to attend the memorial events which usually take place on IWMD, as public gatherings around the world are not advised or allowed; there are many ways trade union members can take part in our collective day of remembrance.

We remember those we have lost. 

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Commercial flexitime suspension

Last week we learnt that Commercial had suspended the operation of flexitime and accrual of hours whilst employees worked from home with immediate effect. Unite in AXA were not consulted on this beforehand.

Yesterday we held a meeting with Jon Walker, Commercial Director, about his decision and raised our concerns over the lack of prior consultation, the impact on staff and their ability to react to urgent customer needs, and the decision to not allow individuals to take flexidays from the time they have already accrued.

Jon Walker advised the reason for the decision was primarilly driven by concerns for the mental well-being of Commercial staff working from home during the crisis, as well as problems that could arise out a build up of flexitime to be taken once employees return to the office. He advised there was no intention to make this suspension permanent.

We stressed that we would not accept employees being expected to work beyond their contracted hours to meet customer needs without any form of compensation, whether than be in the form of time accrual, time off in lieu or overtime payment.

It was agreed that employees should not be expected to work beyond their contracted hours for free and that if necessary specific instances were extra work is required by staff for customer service reasons then they would be allowed to record this as accrued time. It was also agreed that staff who had already accrued enough hours to take time off could do so.

We are assured this is a temporary measure and we will ensure that the decision is regularly reviewed to ensure it meets the needs of our members as well as that of the business as the current situation evolves.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A number of members have approached us with concerns around the Cornonavirus outbreak and its implications from a work point of view. The subject is an evolving one and it is important to avoid speculation and sharing of erroneous information.

AXA UK has a ‘Coronavirus Hub’ with frequently updated FAQ that can be accessed via the company intranet here.

The NHS page with advice and common questions can be found here.

The Government page with travel information and guidance can be found here.

We are in ongoing consultation with the company and if you cannot find the answer to an immediate issue from the above, please speak to your local union rep and we will raise with the appropriate people at AXA.

We would ask though to try and avoid speculative what if questions (eg. what if schools close; something the Government views as unlikely at present). If these matters do become likely we will engage with the company to address them, but priority must be given to more immediate issues.

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2020 Pay Ballot Result

Based on a 73% return of ballot papers issued, the result of the 2020 pay ballot is as follows:

For: 79%
Against: 20%
Spoilt: 1%

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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Unite negotiate overtime rate increase…

Following a recent legal ruling* that companies should take regular overtime into account for the purposes of employees holiday, Unite in AXA has been negotiating with the company on how to implement the ruling within AXA UK.

Rather than calculate each individual employee’s entitlement when they take holiday, with all the administrative complexity that would cause and debate about exactly what regular overtime was, Unite suggested to AXA that it apply a flat increase to the overtime rates, which whilst a slightly more expensive option as it goes beyond the legal ruling, was a simpler and less bureaucratic approach, and easier to understand and implement.

After some negotiation we are pleased to advise AXA agreed with our suggestion and with effect from 1st January 2020, all overtime rates in AXA UK have been increased by 5.5%, regardless of whether the overtime worked in ‘regular’ or not, to ensure AXA complies with the new ruling.

* The legal situation in Northern Ireland is still under review and we are waiting on the resolution of that to see what we can do for overtime rates there.

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AXA offer 3% pay pot

Click here to read the latest Unite in AXA newsletter detailing the 2020 Pay Offer we have presented to the company. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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2020 pay ballot now open…

The 2020 pay ballot for members in the AXA UK bargaining unit is now open and will close at 2pm on Wednesday 19th February.

Your local union rep should provide you with a paper ballot paper and instructions on where to deposit it once you have voted. If you have not received a ballot paper within the next couple of days, please contact your local rep, a list can be found here.

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Pay 2020 – joint AXA/Unite statement

Joint Statement from AXA and Unite 

  • The 2020 pay budget has been reviewed by AXA and Unite.
  • A 3% pay increase to the overall budget has been offered. 
  • Individual pay awards will vary based on 2019 performance and position in pay range.
  • Bargaining unit ballot will run from 10th– 21th Feb. 

This statement sets out the overall 2020 pay budget (how much AXA has to spend on the annual pay increase) and framework (how the budget is distributed). This is negotiated between AXA and Unite for Associate to Professional bands and applies to all AXA Insurance and Corporate Centre employees.

Pay Budget 

This year’s talks have concluded with an offer of a 3% increase to the total pay budget for employees in Associate and Senior Associate bands. The same budget will apply to the employees in the Professional to Senior Leader bands. Pay increases will take effect from 1st April 2020. 

AXA and Unite pay budget review – Senior Associate and Associate

Though the 2020 pay budget (the amount available to spend) is 3%, actual pay awards for individuals will vary according to two factors – 2019 performance 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, as can be seen in the matrix below.

Individual pay awards will be formally communicated to employees in March. Further information about how pay is distributed using the matrix can be found on the Manager Area on ONE.

Professional to Senior Leader Pay Approach

Managers who are responsible for pay decisions for the pay review process (also known as Pool Heads) will have discretion to set pay awards within the overall budget for employees in Professional to Senior Leader roles. These decisions are made in the context of a number of factors including individual performance, the external market and comparable pay between peers.

This year, for the first time, the Professional pay band will move into this discretionary pay population. Although this is a change from previous years where Professionals used the same matrix as Advisors and Senior Advisors, AXA are committed to ensuring that fairness is maintained in the new arrangement.   

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 (£16,926 and £19,565, respectively, for a 35-hour FTE contract).

New pay ranges will shortly be available on One and are effective 1 April 2020. There’s more information on the pay review process on the My Pay & Benefits pages on ONE.

Next steps – Bargaining unit ballot

Unite will ballot its members on this offer, with the ballot taking place between the 10 and 19 February.

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

If you’re a PPP employee, you can view the relevant pay statement on Healthnet.

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

Claudio Gienal     Dominic Hook 

Group Chief Executive  National Officer 

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We want a fair increase…

Click here to read the latest Unite in AXA newsletter detailing the 2020 Pay Claim we have presented to the company. Please leave your feedback below or talk to your local union rep.

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2020 Pay Survey…

The 2020 Unite in AXA pay survey can be accessed here.

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