TUC urges Theresa May to help rein back directors’ pay

New report shows FTSE 100 executives earn 123 times more than the average worker

Directors’ pay has reached “stratospheric” levels, according to a study that is critical of a culture where senior business figures receive a sum equivalent to a year’s worth of the minimum wage in a single day.

Analysis by the TUC found that the average boss of a FTSE 100 company is paid 123 times the UK’s average full-time salary. It also discovered that the median pay package, excluding pensions, of a senior director increased by 47% to £3.4m in the five years to 2015, compared with 7% for average wages.

The TUC cited Sir Martin Sorrell of advertising giant WPP to highlight the growing disparity. Sorrell, who is Britain’s highest paid chief executive with an annual package worth up to £70m, earns an average worker’s annual salary in less than 45 minutes.

The report, published ahead of tomorrow’s start of the TUC Congress in Brighton, said the pay gap is “stark”. Frances O’Grady, the general secretary, said: “While millions of families have seen their living standards squeezed, directors’ pay has reached stratospheric levels. These shocking figures show why Theresa May must deliver on her promise to put workers on company boards. This would inject a much-needed dose of reality into boardrooms and help put the brakes on the multimillion pay packages that have damaged the reputation of corporate Britain. Other European countries already require workers on boards, so UK firms have nothing to fear.”

A government spokesman said May had told the G20 summit earlier this week that in order to “restore greater fairness”, there would be a consultation this autumn on measures to tackle corporate irresponsibility, excessive corporate pay and poor corporate governance.


Mark Townsend

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Health and teaching unions aghast at Jeremy Hunt’s new era of Tory austerity
The chancellor sparked alarm among trade union leaders by promising ‘very difficult decisions’ for government budgets

Mark Townsend, Home Affairs Editor, and Michael Savage, Policy Editor

15, Oct, 2022 @6:30 PM

Article image
TUC calls on angry public and customers to help fight for exploited workers
Community campaigns and customer boycotts are an effective way of defending rights of fast food and retail workers, says Frances O’Grady

Heather Stewart, economics editor

13, Jun, 2015 @11:04 PM

Article image
Unions threaten ‘waves of industrial action’ over UK cost of living crisis
Move could see synchronised strikes in autumn as new prime minister takes office

Donald Macintyre and Toby Helm

27, Aug, 2022 @7:00 PM

Article image
Jon Cruddas: ‘Labour party must support’ rail workers in pay dispute
MP says Keir Starmer’s team should not distance themselves from unions but back industrial action to defend living standards

Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Toby Helm

26, Jun, 2022 @10:00 AM

Article image
Tackle pay stagnation to help Britons with soaring living costs, urges TUC
Boris Johnson challenged to address ‘lost decade’ of falling real wages under Tory governments

Richard Partington Economics correspondent

30, Dec, 2021 @12:01 AM

Article image
Union fury as figures show pay rises among top earners driving inflation
The best paid have had the highest wage hikes, but the majority of the workforce has seen salary growth fall, according to ONS data

Toby Helm, Political editor, Phillip Inman, Economics editor

25, Jun, 2023 @5:00 AM

Article image
Shareholder payouts rose three times faster than UK wages, says TUC
Analysis by unions suggests firms can afford to pay workers more, as handouts have soared £440bn above inflation since 2008

Michael Savage Policy Editor

15, Oct, 2022 @1:25 PM

Article image
Sports Direct’s surrender is just the the start, says TUC
The union body’s corporate governance chief, who enlisted City backing for a review of the retailer, says other firms are now in her sight

Sean Farrell

24, Sep, 2016 @3:00 PM

Article image
‘People are much angrier now’: why Britain is going on strike
New wave of union leaders, such as RMT’s Mick Lynch and Unite’s Sharon Graham, have galvanised workers

Donald Macintyre

28, Aug, 2022 @5:00 AM

Article image
NHS cuts putting patient safety at risk, TUC warns
Funding cuts and staff shortages ‘preventing hospitals from implementing Mid Staffordshire recommendations’

Denis Campbell Health policy editor

26, Nov, 2016 @10:00 PM