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Fat Cat Friday highlights pay disparity

4 January 2019

Fat Cat Friday highlights pay disparityIn just three working days, the UK's top bosses make more than a typical full-time worker will earn in the entire year, according to new figures.

Analysis by the HR professional body the CIPD and independent think tank the High Pay Centre has found that the average FTSE100 ceo earns 133 times more than the average worker. They are paid £1,020 per hour and £3.926 million a year, up 11% on the previous year.

This pay increase means that top bosses, working an average 12-hour day, will only need to work for 29 hours in 2019 to earn the average worker's annual salary of £29,574, two hours fewer than in 2018. It means many ceos will have earned the average salary by Friday 4th January - dubbed Fat Cat Friday.

The CIPD and High Pay Centre are highlighting the problem of rising executive pay in a new report, RemCo reform: Governing successful organisations that benefit everyone. It identifies the shortcomings of remuneration committees (RemCos) charged with setting executive pay and calls for them to be significantly reformed.

"There is still far too great a gap between top earners and the rest of the workforce," said Peter Cheese, CIPD chief executive. "Average pay has stagnated whilst top ceo reward has grown, despite overall slow economic growth and very variable business performance.

"Excessive pay packages awarded by remuneration committees represent a significant failure in corporate governance and perpetuate the idea of a 'superstar' business leader when business is a collective endeavour and reward should be shared more fairly. This imbalance does nothing to help heal the many social and economic divides facing the country."

Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre, said: "Excessive executive pay represents a massive corporate governance failure and is a barrier to a fairer economy. Corporate boards are too willing to spend millions on top executives without any real justification, while the wider workforce is treated as a cost to be minimised."

New regulations coming into force from this January will require large publicly-listed firms to publish the ratio between ceo pay and the pay of the average worker.

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