Executive pay increases while other salaries stagnate

Executive pay has increased by an average of 12%, while the pay of British workers has stagnated across the economy, rising by an average of just 2.8%, according to research by the High Pay Centre.

In its research, The state of pay, the independent think tank said the deals were part of a trend that has seen the average chief executive officer’s (CEO) pay treble over the past 10 years.

The report highlights the rise in CEO pay across the FTSE 100. In 2006, the average FTSE 100 chief executive’s pay package stood at £3,309,000, however, in 2011, it rose to £4,771,000.

The research found that most of the growth in top pay in recent years has not been in terms of salaries, but rather in bonuses, grants of restricted shares, long-term incentive plans, and a raft of new and innovative pay structures. This pushed the pay of a FTSE 100 chief executive up by 12% last year to £4.8 million, or 185-times average wages.

Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, said:  “There has been no clear change in the boardroom culture and no recognition that these pay awards are unacceptable.

“It’s wrong that Britain’s bosses are taking home more and more money as their [organisations] shrink, their employees are squeezed and jobs are being lost. CEOs are hoping that their big bonus and their inflated reward culture will escape attention, now that the banking crisis has passed.

“However, the High Pay Centre will keep the spotlight on this issue, now and in the coming months. These pay increases are damaging to the economy and to the morale of Britons struggling to make a living.”

In 2013, the High Pay Centre will host a series of public events to explore the future of CEO pay and wages for the rest of the workforce.