CEOs enjoyed large pay rises over the pandemic –

New figures show that the average FTSE 100 CEO saw their pay soar from £2.46m to £3.41m between 2020 and 2021.

This period covers the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when many bosses took a voluntary pay cut as they placed millions of employees on furlough.

The figures from the TUC and the High Pay Centre think tank reveal a FTSE 100 CEO is paid 109 times more than the average full-time worker.

In the wake of the pandemic, CEOs enjoyed a salary increase of 39 per cent. CEO pay is now higher than pre-pandemic levels, surpassing the £3.25m median recorded in 2019.

Branding the CEO wage increase as “sickening”, Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary warned:  “We’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis with many workers unable to heat their homes and feed their families.

“There’s nothing wrong with being paid for a job well done, but the lack of ‘restraint’ from those at the top is a slap in the face to workers who are being denied a proper pay rise.”

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said the growing disparity between pay at the top and that paid to workers is fuelling the cost of living crisis.

O’Grady called on the government to introduce tough rules to “rein in executive pay”. “This should include worker representatives on the committees that set top pay, and elected seats for workers on company boards,” she said.

“This approach is already commonplace in many countries and works very well. The government should give UK workers this opportunity too.”

However, Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, disagrees.

He believes that restricting CEO pay could actually have negative impacts on the economy: “Imposing restrictions on CEO pay, or imposing trade union representatives on remuneration committees (as the HPC wishes) or on company boards (as the TUC wishes) would make working, investing and company listing in the UK much less attractive.”

The data also reveals that FTSE 100 CEOs’ annual bonuses jumped to £1.4m compared with £828,000 in 2020. Nine in 10 of the bosses received a bonus.

In total, the FTSE 100 firms spent more than £720m on pay awarded to 224 top executives.

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