6 January 2015
FTSE 100 CEOs will have earned more by this Tuesday (6 January), after two days of work in 2015, than the average worker will earn this year.
The think tank High Pay Center, which examines corporate governance and pay at the top of the income distribution, calculated that the average annual earnings of a FTSE 100 CEO is £4.72m per year. This works out at £1,200 an hour, on the “generous assumption” that he or she works 12 hours a day, including for every three out of four weekends, and takes only 10 days of holiday per year.
This day comes even sooner than last year, where the FTSE 100 CEO had to work until Wednesday to surpass the average UK worker’s salary. The average salary for the CEO has risen by £500,000 since last year, whereas the average UK salary has risen by only £200, to £27,200.
The yearly earnings of a minimum wage worker is £13,520, which is more than the average FTSE 100 CEO would earn in a single day.
The news shines a light on the government’s apathy in curbing top pay and further evidences the rocketing inequality under the coalition government. The average UK worker is £50 a week worse off than in 2010.
High Pay Centre Director Deborah Hargreaves said: ‘Fatcat Tuesday’ highlights the problem of unfair pay in the UK. For top bosses to rake in more in two days than their staff earn in a year is clearly unfair, disproportionate and doesn’t make social or economic sense.
Politicians need to do more to stand up to big business and the super-rich. We must also give workers the power to force employers to share pay more fairly throughout their organisation.’
The High Pay Center argues for representation for ordinary workers on the company ‘remuneration committees’ that set executive pay and compulsory publication of the pay gap between the highest and lowest earner within a company.
Strong Trade Unions and the renewal of collective bargaining is essential if we are to reduce income inequality. Trade Unions and Economic Inequality by Lydia Hayes and Tonia Novitz contains several proposals on how to move forward. The IER’s Reconstruction After the Crisis: A Manifesto for Collective Bargaining is also available for purchase.