Top bosses have already made more money in 2015 than most UK workers will earn all year

By 05.01.15BlogSeptember 2nd, 2020No Comments

Now it’s Fatcat TUESDAY! Top bosses pay will surpass the average full-time UK worker’s annual salary after just TWO DAYS!

By the end of today, Britain’s top bosses will have made more money in 2015 than the average UK worker earns in an entire year, according to calculations by the High Pay Centre think-tank.

The calculations show that earnings for company executives returning to work this Monday will pass the UK average salary of £27,200 by late afternoon on ‘fatcat Tuesday.’ 

FTSE 100 Chief Executives are paid an average £4.72 million. The High Pay Centre found that even if CEOs are assumed to work long hours with very few holidays, this is equivalent to hourly pay of nearly £1,200

When the High Pay Centre made the same calculation last year, the think-tank estimated that top bosses would have to wait until the first working Wednesday of 2014 to surpass the earnings of the average worker. But while pay realised by FTSE 100 Chief Executives has risen by nearly £500,000 since last year, the annual pay of the average UK worker has increased by just £200, from £27,000 to £27,200.

The figures will raise doubts about the effectiveness of Government efforts to curb top pay by giving shareholders the power to veto excessive pay packages. The High Pay Centre has argued that further measures are necessary, such as representation for ordinary workers on the company ‘remuneration committees’ that set executive pay and compulsory publication of the pay gap between the highest and lowest earner within a company.

High Pay Centre Director Deborah Hargreaves said: ‘Fatcat Tuesday’ highlights the problem of unfair pay in the UK. For top bosses to rake in more in two days than their staff earn in a year is clearly unfair, disproportionate and doesn’t make social or economic sense.

Politicians need to do more to stand up to big business and the super-rich. We must also give workers the power to force employers to share pay more fairly throughout their organisation.’

Notes to editors:

  • The average pay realised by a FTSE CEO in 2013 (the most recent year for which figures are available) was £4.72 million according to the 2014 Manifest Executive Directors Remuneration Survey. Though there are different ways of measuring executive pay, the ‘pay realised’ figure provided by Manifest is preferred by the High Pay Centre and was used to make the same calculation in 2014.
  • Median earnings for full-time workers in the UK (who had been in their job for at least 12 months) were £27,200 in 2014. This represents a slight increase from £27,000 in 2013.
  • Even when making the very generous assumptions that FTSE 100 CEOs work 12 hours a day, including three out of every 4 weekends, and take less than 10 days holiday per year, this still works out at about £1,200 per hour, meaning that it would take around 22 hours work to surpass the UK average of £27,200 – some time on late Tuesday afternoon, assuming they begin work for the year on Monday January 5.
  • The High Pay Centre is an independent think-tank set up to examine corporate governance and pay at the top of the income distribution. We carry out research aimed at developing a better understanding of top rewards, company accountability and business performance. For more information visit


 Luke Hildyard – Deputy Director, High Pay Centre

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