71% believe CEO pay is too high

Charles Cotton 430

Almost three-quarters (71%) of respondents believe that chief executive officer (CEO) pay in the UK is too high or far too high, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Its study, The view from below: What employees really think about their CEO’s pay packet, which surveyed 1,030 employees, also found that 59% of respondents think that the high level of CEO pay demotivates them at work.

The research also found:

  • More than half (55%) of respondents view the high level of CEO pay in the UK as bad for the reputation of organisations.
  • Less than a third (32%) agree their CEO is rewarded in line with their organisation’s performance, with around two-thirds saying they disagree (38%) or do not know (29%).
  • 45% of respondents believe their own CEO’s pay is too high, with a further 30% saying they do not know.
  • 4% of respondents say their CEO’s pay is too low.

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Charles Cotton, reward adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “The growing disparity between pay at the high and lower ends of the pay scale for today’s workforce is leading to a real sense of unfairness, which is impacting on employees’ motivation at work. The message from employees to CEOs is clear: ‘the more you take, the less we’ll give’.

“At a time when the average employee has seen their salary increase by just a few percentage points over the last several years, we need to take a serious look at the issue of top executive reward.”