Pandemic highlights massive pay gaps

Bosses at the UK's top companies have already made more money than the average worker in Northumberland will earn this year, estimates suggest.

By Patrick Jack
Friday, 7th January 2022, 11:55 am
Pandemic highlights pay gap.
Pandemic highlights pay gap.

Economic equality campaigners, The High Pay Centre, says boardroom salaries may be harder to justify after the pandemic highlighted the importance of some of the country's lowest paid jobs.

It estimates the average salary of a top company CEO was £2.7m – around £827.69 an hour in 2020 – the latest data available.

Assuming they start work at 8.30am, they had already earned a Northumberland full-time worker's average salary – £28,229 in 2021 - by around 5.30pm on Thursday, January 6 – just the third working day of the year.

This means it would take an average Northumberland employee 95 years to match the salary of a top company boss.

With women in Northumberland earning less on average for working full-time than men – £26,897 – top bosses will surpass their annual wage in just 32 hours.

High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how much we all depend on each other. Some of the lowest-paying jobs have been found to be the most important in keeping society functioning through the crisis.

"In this context, vast pay differences may be much harder to justify."

The High Pay Centre said CEO pay had fallen by 17% from £3.3m in 2019.

Danny Magill, senior research officer at the Equality Trust, said: "In a year where this country has faced unprecedented challenges, most CEOs pay packages barely changed, showing how detached they have become from the realities of ordinary working people."