TUC condemns obscene pay gap between FTSE 100 bosses and average worker

04/01/2024

TUC condemns ‘obscene’ pay gap between FTSE 100 bosses and average worker

FTSE 100 bosses will have earned more than the average UK worker makes in a year by Thursday afternoon, according to new estimates, prompting criticism of “obscene” pay inequality.

By 1pm on Thursday, the median chief executive of the top 100 listed companies will have earned the median full-time worker’s annual wage, the High Pay Centre found in its analysis.

It is one hour earlier than when the median worker’s annual pay was estimated to have been surpassed last year.

The think tank said it used the most recent pay disclosures in FTSE 100 firms’ annual reports for the analysis, combined with government statistics showing pay levels across the UK economy.

The median FTSE 100 boss’s pay, excluding their pension, stood at £3.81 million in the financial year ending in March 2023, according to the High Pay Centre.

It amounts to approximately £1,170 per hour, assuming the bosses work 12.5 hours a day.

The yearly amount is 109 times the median full-time worker’s wage of £34,893, according to latest data from the Office for National Statistics.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which represents 48 member unions, said the analysis shows “obscene levels of pay inequality”.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “While working people have been forced to suffer the longest wage squeeze in modern history, City bosses have been allowed to pocket bumper rises and bankers have been given unlimited bonuses.”

It comes after a cap on bonus payments for bankers was scrapped last year, as part of efforts to make the UK a more attractive place to work.

It means there is no longer a limit on the amount people who work for banks or building societies in Britain can receive in annual payouts.

Mr Nowak continued: “It doesn’t have to be this way. We need an economy that rewards work – not just wealth.

“That means putting workers on company boards to inject some much-needed common sense into boardrooms. It means taxing wealth fairly.

“And it means a government that is willing to work with unions and employers to drive up living standards for all.”

Meanwhile, other FTSE 350 executives, including senior executives and bosses outside the biggest 100 firms, will need to work until January 10 to overtake the average UK worker’s pay.

Top city lawyers working at firms including Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy receive an average yearly salary of £1.92 million, therefore surpassing the average worker’s wage by January 8, the analysis revealed.

Everyone in the top 1% of full-time UK workers, earning at least £145,000, will have overtaken the annual pay of the median full-time worker by March 29, the High Pay Centre said.

The High Pay Centre’s director, Luke Hildyard, said: “Lobbyists for big business and the financial services industry spent much of 2023 arguing that top earners in Britain aren’t paid enough and that we are too concerned with gaps between the super-rich and everybody else.

“They think that economic success is created by a tiny number of people at the top and that everybody else has very little to contribute.

“When politicians listen to these misguided views, it’s unsurprising that we end up with massive inequality, and stagnating living standards for the majority of the population.”

A spokesman for the Government said: “We have given millions of workers across the UK a historic pay rise thanks to our decision to increase the National Living Wage to £11.44 an hour.

“In total since 2010, the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will have increased by over £10,000, demonstrating how we are delivering for those in work.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub



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