Top bosses in the UK earn more than the yearly average salary for British workers in just four days, according to new research.
Analysis by think tank High Pay Centre, which campaigns for fairer pay for workers, said by 9am on Friday 7 January, the earnings of top FTSE 100 CEOs would have surpassed the median full-time salary earnings in the UK.
According to the High Pay Centre, 57 per cent of FTSE CEOs earned more in 2021 compared to an average of £2.7m the previous year.
In 2020, CEOs saw their pay fall by 17 per cent, from £3.2m the previous year, due to pandemic-related pay cuts and cancelled bonuses. This means that this is the first time since 2011 that CEOs have needed to work a fourth day to make the same as the yearly pay of a full-time worker.
Frances O’ Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, told The Guardian: “The pandemic has shown us all who keeps the country going during a crisis. There are millions of hardworking people in Britain – from carers, to delivery drivers, to shop floor staff – who give more than they get back, but greedy executives are taking home millions while ordinary workers face yet another year of pay squeezes.”
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to redesign the economy to make it fair, and that means big reforms to bring CEO pay back down to earth,” she said, suggesting employee representatives and profit-sharing schemes for workforces.
Regarding public views of CEOs, High Pay Centre’s poll carried out by Survation found that 71 per cent of people said government policies benefit high earners more than low and middle earners.
Some 63 per cent of people disagreed that high earners work harder than low or middle earners, and 59 per cent disagreed that high earners do more work than lower earners.
The High Pay Centre said in a statement: “The boards that set executive pay justify very high pay-outs on the basis that those at the top work harder or do more important jobs than the rest of us, but these findings show that this assumption isn’t shared by the general public.
“Policies such as putting workers directors onto pay-setting committees could introduce some valuable ‘real world’ perspective into decisions on pay.”
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