Pay level shocker for Northumberland workers

The average worker in Northumberland would have to hold down a job for 132 years to match the average annual salary of top company bosses, according to new figures.

By Patrick Jack
Friday, 8th January 2021, 1:01 pm
Boardroom pay levels are causing "damaging" disparities
Boardroom pay levels are causing "damaging" disparities

The Equality Trust charity says such huge pay disparities are contributing to “damagingly high levels” of inequality.

High Pay Centre figures show that the average FTSE 100 CEOs salary in 2019 was £3.6m.

That means - if they started work after the Christmas and New Year break at 8am on Monday January 4, – they would have earned a Northumberland full-time worker's median salary (£27,292 in 2020) by around 1pm on Wednesday, January 6.

It would take an average worker in Northumberland 132 years to earn the annual salary of a top CEO.

With women in the area earning less full-time on average than men (£23,375) top bosses will surpass their annual wage in just 25 hours.

Dr Wanda Wyporska, executive director of The Equality Trust, said: "This huge gap between the pay packets of bosses and their employees is not just highly unfair, but contributes to the damagingly high level of inequality we see in the UK.

"Crucially we see the results in our everyday lives because in countries with high levels of inequality, we also see high levels of poor mental and physical health, violence, infant deaths, obesity and lower levels of social mobility and educational attainment."

The High Pay Centre said CEO pay levels did not change much from the year before, while the average salary in Northumberland was up from £25,773 in 2019.

High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said: "Factors such as the increasing role played by the finance industry in the economy, the outsourcing of low-paid work and the decline of trade union membership have widened the gaps between those at the top and everybody else over recent decades."

He added that these figures will raise concern over whether major companies are distributing pay fairly."

Andrew Ninian, director of The Investment Association, a trade body that represents investment managers, said: "Our members are calling on companies to ensure CEO pay is proportionate and aligned with performance."