FTSE CEOs earn average UK salary within three days

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
The median pay for CEOs of companies listed on the FTSE 100 index is 117 times higher than that of the average worker in the UK. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

The CEOs of the UK’s top 100 companies earn so much that they will have already been paid more than the average full-time employee by the end of the third working day of the year.

The median pay for CEOs of companies listed on the FTSE 100 index is 117 times higher than that of the average worker in the UK, which means that they will have earned more than the UK average wage of £29,559 by 5pm on Monday 6 January.

The findings come as part of new research released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

According to the research, the average FTSE 100 boss was paid £3.46m in 2018 — or £901.30 an hour.

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The average full-time annual wage in hourly terms is an order of magnitude lower, at just £14.37.

From the beginning of this year, listed companies in the UK with more than 250 employees must now make statutory disclosures that justify the pay that their CEOs receive, particularly in relation to how their salaries relate to wider employee pay.

Each year, these companies must now disclose the ratio of their CEO’s pay to the median, lower quartile, and upper quartile pay of their UK employees.

The CIPD said the new requirements will shine on a spotlight on whether it is fair for CEOs to earn so much, and whether it is good for business and the UK economy.

“Alongside the numbers, large publicly listed companies will be expected to provide a narrative explaining how their pay ratios are consistent with their wider policies on employee pay, reward and progression,” the CIPD said on Monday.

The institute said it was calling on employers to take these requirements “seriously” and to treat them as an “opportunity to get a better understanding of their businesses and to demonstrate how they value their people”.