We may be just four days into 2018, but fat cat FTSE bosses are already about to trouser more than the average worker will earn for the whole year.
New research shows pay for top executives will pass the median UK gross annual salary of £28,758 for full-time employees at some point on Thursday.
The analysis by the High Pay Centre think tank and professional body CIPD found that while pay for CEOs of Britain’s top listed firms fell overall last year, the gap between bosses and average paid workers remains wide.
The report, dubbed ‘Fat Cat Thursday’, reveals the mean FTSE 100 CEO pay packet fell by a fifth, down from £5.4 million to £4.5 million in 2017.
But despite the reduction, the average CEO still earn 120 times more than the average full-time worker.
Last year, ‘fat cat day’ also landed on the 4th January.
High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern wrote in a HuffPost UK blog: “In the 1960s and 70s the pay ratios were much tighter, closer to those 20 times levels which were considered normal and respectable.
“Have bosses got so much better since then? Has their job really got so much harder? Does the fact that some of the businesses they work for have got bigger justify the gigantic explosion in pay?
“The answers to these questions are, respectively, no, no and no.”
The FTSE 100 is a list of the hundred biggest firms by overall value, including giants like advertising giant WPP, headed by highest paid boss Sir Martin Sorrell, British American Tobacco, and easyJet.
Housebuilder Persimmon, another FTSE 100 constituent, provoked widespread condemnation, and saw its chairman resign, after it was revealed a bonus scheme will pay its chief executive, Jeff Fairburn, over £110m.
Trade unions cited Thursday’s figures as proof of “obscene” executive pay.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: “Last year Theresa May broke her pledge to guarantee worker representation on company boards, a move which would have helped shed light on corporate excess and redress the balance towards fairer pay.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Worker are suffering the longest pay squeeze since Napoleonic times. But fat cat bosses are still getting salaries that look like telephone numbers. The government needs a plan to make the economy fair again.”