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Leaders earn 183 times more than workers

Pay gap widens as pay soars for Britain’s top bosses

Frances O'GradyBritain’s top bosses earn on average 183 times more than their employees as the pay gap shows no sign of closing, according to new research by a think tank.

The High Pay Centre says the heads of FTSE100 companies earned on average just under £5 million last year. A full-time employee’s median pay was £27,195.

That compares to £27,195 median pay for a full-time employee in 2014, according to official figures.

The High Pay Centre criticised the scale of executive pay by saying the levels of remuneration went beyond “what is sensible” to incentivise business leaders.


“Pay packages of this size go far beyond what is sensible or necessary to reward and inspire top executives,” said Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre.

“It’s more likely that corporate governance structures in the UK are riddled with glaring weaknesses and conflicts of interest.”

Under rules brought in two years ago listed companies have  to publish a single figure detailing their top executive’s salary, as well as being required to give shareholders a binding vote on directors’ pay.

Ms Hargreaves added that while the reforms had helped to get a better understanding of executive pay, they didn’t go far enough.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady (pictured) said the figures showed that the economic recovery was not being shared by everyone.

“With top bosses now earning 183 times more than the average full-time worker, inequality is reaching stratospheric levels.

“After years of falling living standards it is a disgrace that top execs are taking an even bigger share of the rewards of growth. We need a recovery that works for the many and not just the few.

“Ordinary employees need to be included in workplace pay committees to add some common sense and reality to boardroom pay decisions. They should not be a closed shop for an elite who are only interested in looking after their own.”

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