FTSE 100 chief executives are paid an average £4.96 million a year according to the government’s ‘single figure’ measure compared to the UK full-time average salary of £27,645. Using these figures The High Pay Centre said that earnings for company executives returning to work in the new year would pass the UK average salary by late afternoon on what the think tank dubbed “Fat Cat Tuesday”.
The High Pay Centre calculated the timing by using the £4.96 million figure and estimating FTSE 100 chief executives therefore received hourly pay of £1,260 by working 12 hours a day, including three out of every four weekends, and taking fewer than 10 days holiday per year.
The typical value of a FTSE 100 CEO’s incentive award has risen by nearly 50% of salary since the previous year, according to the latest Manifest MMK pay survey, while the annual pay of the average UK worker has increased by just £445, from £27,200 to £27,645.
The High Pay Centre said the figures would raise doubts about the effectiveness of government efforts to curb top pay by giving shareholders the power to veto excessive pay packages. The think tank argues that further measures are necessary, such as representation for ordinary workers on the company remuneration committees that set executive pay, and publication of the pay gap between the highest and median earner within a company.
HPC director Stefan Stern said: “‘Fat Cat Tuesday’ again highlights the continuing problem of the unfair pay gap in the UK.
“We are not all in this together, it seems. Over-payment at the top is fueling distrust of business, at a time when business needs to demonstrate that it is part of the solution to harsh times and squeezed incomes, and is promoting a recovery in which all employees can benefit.”
Meanwhile in France, Manifest’s colleagues at Proxinvest calculated that French CEO’s would have to work until Friday noon January 8 to earn as much as the average French employee in a year.