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    Fat Cat Friday: Top execs have already earned an average worker’s wage

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    Top bosses are earning more than 133 times than the average worker, a new report by CIPD has found.

    It’s only the first week of January and plenty of us are still feeling the sting on our bank balances following the expenses of Christmas and New Year, however there are a select few whose wallets aren’t suffering at all.

    Today marks Fat Cat Friday, the first Friday of the year that the UK’s top FTSE100 CEOs’ salaries exceed the average UK annual wage – what a way to kick off the New Year.

    In just three working days of 2019, the UK’s top bosses will have already taken home more than a typical full-time worker will earn in an entire year, a new report by independent think tank the High Pay Centre and the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has discovered.

    The calculations have found that the average full-time worker in the UK earns an annual salary of £29,574, while the ‘fat cats’ on average will pocket an annual figure of £3.9 million, meaning they would only need to work until 1pm today to earn the same amount as the average worker.


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

    “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 endeavor and reward should be shared more fairly. This imbalance does nothing to help heal the many social and economic divides facing the country.”

    The CIPD and High Pay Centre are highlighting the problem of rising executive pay in a new report launched today, which aims to call on RemCos to ensure that CEO pay is aligned more appropriately to rewards across the wider workforce and that their contribution is measured on both financial and non-financial measures of performance.

    Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre, added: “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.

    “To raise living standards, we need growth and innovation, but also to ensure that growth is fairly distributed. CEO pay packages 133 times the size of the average UK worker suggest we could do a lot better in this respect.”

    What are your thoughts on the pay gap? Let us know on Twitter @PALifeMag

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    Jade Burke

    Jade Burke, Editor for PA Life

    All stories by: Jade Burke