Chief executives of the UK’s biggest 100 companies have seen their pay jump by 39 per cent, according to research by the High Pay Centre thinktank and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The median average pay of CEOs of companies in the FTSE 100 index rose to £3.4 million in 2021, compared with £2.5 million in 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The jump in executive pay means that the average UK CEO now collects 109 times that paid to the average British worker, up from 79 times in 2020.
Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said the growing disparity between pay at the top and that paid to workers is fuelling the cost of living crisis.
“Workers deserve a fair share of the wealth they create. But right now, CEO pay is soaring while working people experience the biggest real wage falls in 20 years, she said. “These unbalanced pay policies have seen the gap widen between workers and bosses this year, adding to the cost of living crisis.
O’Grady called on the government to introduce tough rules to “rein in executive pay”.
“This should include worker representatives on the committees that set top pay, and elected seats for workers on company boards,” she said. “This approach is already commonplace in many countries and works very well. The government should give UK workers this opportunity too.”