By 1 pm this afternoon, fewer than three working days into 2019, the bosses of Britain’s biggest companies will have made more money than the average UK worker will earn this year, according to a report.
Research from the High Pay Centre and HR industry body the CIPD found that chief executives of FTSE 100 firms are paid an average of £3.9mln a year, which works out at 133 times the £29,574 taken home by the typical employee.
Assuming blue-chip bosses work 12 hours a day for 320 days a year, their hourly pay rate comes in at £1,020.
So, to match the average salary, which is taken from Office for National Statistics data, they would have to work for 31 hours, or until 1 pm on Friday, January 4.
The report adds that the typical salary for a FTSE 100 CEO had risen 11% from last year, meaning they had to work two hours less this year to match the average worker’s annual pay.
“Excessive executive pay represents a massive corporate governance failure and is a barrier to a fairer economy,” said Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre.
“Corporate boards are too willing to spend millions on top executives without any real justification, while the wider workforce is treated as a cost to be minimised.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady called for change, claiming “too much wealth is being hoarded at the top”.
Critics of the report warned that limits on executive pay could drive talent and companies away from the UK, which in turn could lead to fewer jobs and lower pay for workers.
Shareholders have become increasingly vocal in their anger at rising boardroom pay.
Last year, Jeff Fairburn, the now ex-CEO of housebuilder Persimmon PLC (LON:PSMN), was forced out after a row over his £75mln bonus package.
Royal Mail PLC (LON:RMG) investors rebelled against the postal giant’s pay plans for top bosses after it was revealed that new boss Rico Black would be paid £640,000 - £100,000 more than the outgoing Moya Greene. About 70% of shareholders rejected the directors’ remuneration report in a vote.