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FTSE bosses make the average UK yearly salary in 5 days

chauffeur holding shopping bags
The boss of a FTSE 100 company earns the UK average annual salary in just five days. Photo: Getty (Yellow Dog Productions via Getty Images)

By 2pm this Thursday, bosses of FTSE 100 companies will have banked an average of £33,000, as much as the average worker will during the whole of 2023.

Data from the High Pay Centre showed that five days into the new year, the average chief executive of the UK’s biggest companies will have earned the same as the median salary for a UK worker.

"In the worst economic circumstances that most people can remember, it is difficult to believe that a handful of top earners are still raking in such extraordinary amounts of money," High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said.

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FTSE 100 chief executives are paid £3.4m on average, which works out at 103 times the £33,000 average salary for full-time UK workers, according to Office for National Statistics figures.

It means the top bosses would have earned more than an average UK worker’s full time annual salary just within five days of 2023 and third day of the markets before the index closes at 4.30pm.

During 2021, chief executive pay rose by 39%, the High Pay Centre found previously.

Meanwhile, the average worker has seen their pay rise by 6% over the same period.

The new general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Paul Nowak, said workers should have "seats on executive pay committees to bring some common sense to top pay".

He added: "Everyone deserves a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. But while working people are told not to ask for more, top pay is soaring.

"We need government action to bring back some fairness on pay."

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Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "A hard-up 999 call handler would have to work for 150 years to earn what a CEO boss trousers in just 12 months. It's an utter disgrace."

The highest-paid FTSE 100 CEO, according to the research, was Sébastien de Montessus, of Endeavour, which operates goldmines in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal. He was paid £16.9m, including an £8m “one-off award” when the firm relocated from Toronto to London.

The research also shows everyone in the top 1% of full time UK earners, making at least £145k, will have overtaken the annual pay of the median full time worker by 23 March.

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