The bosses of Britain’s biggest companies will have made more money in 2022 by breakfast time on Friday than the average UK worker will earn in the entire year.
By 9am on 7 January, the fourth working day of the year, a FTSE 100 chief executive will have been paid more on an hourly basis than the UK worker’s annual salary, based on median average remuneration figures for both groups.
FTSE 100 chief executives were paid £2.7m on average in 2020 (the latest full-year figures available), which works out at 86 times the £31,285 average salary for full-time UK workers.
Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that makes the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, was the highest paid, receiving £15.5m. The other top earners were Experian’s Brian Cassin, who got £10.3m, CRH’s Albert Manifold, with £10m, and Berkeley’s Rob Perrins, who collected £8m.
Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said: “The pandemic has shown us all who keeps the country going during a crisis. There are millions of hardworking people in Britain – from carers, to delivery drivers, to shop floor staff – who give more than they get back, but greedy executives are taking home millions while ordinary workers face yet another year of pay squeezes."
The Unite union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Is it the nurse in an intensive care unit saving the lives of those struck by Covid, or an elite investment banker making millions, who contributes most to society? Which of them stood up for all of us during the pandemic?”
Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB union, said, “Fat cat bosses trousering 173 times more than the carers who look after our loved ones is a disgrace.”