The chiefs of Britain’s 100 biggest listed companies were paid around 143 times more than average workers in the same firms last year, the High Pay Centre has disclosed.
The widest pay gap is found at mining firm Rangold Resources, where boss Mark Bristow was paid £4.4 million in 2013, almost 1,500 times the wage of the average employee. Other major gaps were found at marketing firm WPP and retailer Next, with CEOs being paid 780 and 459 times more than their workers respectively.
According to the High Pay Centre, the thinktank that published the figures, the gap has significantly widened compared to 20 years ago, when bosses were paid around 47 times more than their workers on average.
Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, said the government must take action.
“When bosses make hundreds of times as much money as the rest of the workforce, it creates a deep sense of unfairness”, she said.
“Britain’s executives haven’t got so much better over the past two decades. The only reason why their pay has increased so rapidly compared to their employees is that they are able to get away with it.
“The government needs to take more radical action on top pay to deliver a fair economy that ordinary people can have faith in.”
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the government is looking into measures to tackle the issue, by giving more power to shareholders to hold companies to account.
A previous report by the High Pay Centre had already warned that executives now earn on average nearly 180 times the typical UK worker.
Photo: Ken Teegardin via Flickr