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UK CEOs Earnings Come Under the Microscope

Fri, 19th Apr 2019

The CEOs of the biggest companies in the UK are under scrutiny over their pay deals, as new figures showed that the top executives earned more during the first three working days of 2019 than the average worker will make all year.

January 4th is known as ‘Fat Cat Friday’, and it is the date on which the average FTSE 100 CEO will have pocketed the same amount as the take-home pay of an average full time employee, according to calculations published by the High Pay Centre, a think tank that focuses on the issue of high executive earnings.

Top executives earn around £1,020 an hour, which is up by 11 percent compared to last year. This means that CEOs who average 21 hour days would have to work just 29 hours to earn the equivalent of a median staff member’s salary.

Unions and shareholders have criticised the figures, calling them unfair and questioning the way that contributions to society are valued, as well as whether such earnings make sense for the UK economy, given that worker’s wages tend to go back into the local economy, rather than being stashed in tax havens. Some have called the executives greedy, and are calling for a redistribution of wealth. Shareholders are also calling for change, and there have been some investor rebellions over pay at some of the biggest companies, including Unilever, Persimmon, Royal Mail, and dozens of others in the FTSE 100 and other major UK indexes.

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