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FTSE 100 bosses ‘to take home more than average UK worker’s annual salary by 5.30pm today’, new report finds

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 06/01/2021 Naomi Ackerman

Chief executives at the UK’s largest firms will have banked more than the annual salary of the average full-time British worker by 5.30pm today, new research suggests.

This year it will take a FTSE 100 boss just three working days to earn the £31,461 median average taken home by a full-time UK employee this year, according to a new report from the High Pay Centre.

According to the HPC’s researchers, on average a FTSE 100 company boss will this year work 34 hours to beat median annual pay - up from 33 hours in 2020.

The think tank, which campaigns for executive pay restraint, also said that Britain’s top executives are now paid an average of £3.6 million per year - around 120 times the average UK salary.

This is despite pay for top executives remaining generally flat last year as the coronavirus crisis hit firms. Some top companies - including at Big Four accounting firm PwC -  saw partners and bosses sacrifice some of their pay to save staff jobs in 2020.

The think tank said it made its calculations based on previous analysis of CEO pay disclosures, companies’ annual reports, and government statistics showing pay levels across the UK economy.

The disparity between the salaries of people at the top and bottom of companies has soared in recent decades.

The HPC stated that it estimates suggest that back in the 1980s, chief executives were only paid around 20 times as much as their firm’s lowest-paid full-time employee.

It put the growing gap down to a range of factors, including the decline in trade union power and the outsourcing of low-paid roles.

According to the centre’s research findings, it would take a worker on the minimum wage of £8.72 per hour a total of 212 years to amass the annual average salary of a chief executive.

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