THE HIGH Pay Centre’s ‘High Pay Day’ research, published Wednesday, is evidence that the government must rebalance the economy after Covid-19 to make it fair, says the TUC.
High Pay Day is the day in 2021 on which the typical FTSE 100 chief executive has already earned the same as the average wage for a whole year.
The research finds that top bosses earn around 120 times the annual pay of the average worker.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘This tells you everything you need to know about how unfair our economy is.
‘Our army of minimum wage workers – carers, shop assistants and delivery drivers – have kept the country going through the pandemic. Not these CEOs at the top, raking in far more than their share.
‘We must make the economy fair. If the government is serious about levelling up Britain, it needs to start by levelling up pay and conditions for those we most rely on, and stop the threat to freeze key workers’ pay.
‘Ministers must bring forward the long-awaited employment bill to end exploitative working practices like zero hours contracts, and boost rights and pay.’
The GMB union, which represents more than 600,000 workers across all sections of the economy, has called for urgent action to reduce the ‘repugnant’ pay gap which shows it would take a minimum wage worker more than 200 years to earn an average CEO salary.
New analysis by the High Pay Centre shows that the average CEO salary last year was £3.6 million – equivalent to £941 an hour.
It would take a worker on the full minimum wage rate of £8.72 an hour 212 years to earn the same annual salary on 37.5 hours per week.
It would take the average (median) full-time male employee 107 years to reach the same CEO salary, and the average full-time female employee would take 129 years to earn the same amount.
The average CEO’s pay will have earned more than the median full-time worker will earn in the whole of 2021 by 17:30 Wednesday, the High Pay Centre’s analysis reveals.
Warren Kenny, GMB Acting General Secretary, said: ‘These repugnant figures expose the sheer scale of inequality and exploitation in the workplace.
‘Urgent action is needed to reign in executive pay in the private sector. At a minimum, this must include extending collective bargaining, putting in place a real living wage, and guaranteeing workers a position on company boards.
‘The workers who have made heroic sacrifices keep society together during the outbreak deserve better – it is time for corporate leaders, shareholders and politicians to wake up and take action.’
High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said chief executive pay is about 120 times that of the typical UK worker, up significantly from two decades ago.
‘Estimates suggest it was around 50 times at the turn of the millennium or 20 times in the early 1980s,’ he said.
‘Factors such as the increasing role played by the finance industry in the economy, the outsourcing of low-paid work and the decline of trade union membership have widened the gaps between those at the top and everybody else over recent decades.’