Fat cats taking home 120 times more than average working

The weakening of the trade union movement is one of the factors thought to be behind the rise in income inequality.

8 Jan 2021| News

New figures from the High Pay Centre indicate that FTSE100 CEOs are now taking home 120 times more than the average worker.

This means that the median income for this group of bosses had already surpassed the median annual wage of a full-time worker by around 17:30 on Wednesday (06 January 2021).

While top bosses have always been the highest earners, such levels of income inequality are dramatically heightened compared with previous decades.

In 2000, FTSE100 CEOs took home around 50 times the wage of the average worker. In the early 1980s, it was just 20 times more.

Fat cat pay packets appeared to be similar to those received last year, with bosses working 34 hours in 2021 to surpass average wages compared with 33 hours in 2020. However, the High Pay Centre warned that the full impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is not yet reflected in the data.

“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,” Director of the High Pay Centre, Luke Hildyard explained.

“These figures will raise concern about the governance of big businesses and whether major employers are distributing pay in a way that rewards the contribution of different workers fairly,” he added.

“They should also prompt debate about the effects that high levels of inequality can have on social cohesion, crime, and public health and wellbeing.”