Companies on taxpayer support urged to narrow gap between bosses’ and workers’ pay to help economy recoverChief executives at some of Britain’s biggest companies have been earning 200 times more than their average employee39 companies on taxpayer support were some of the worst culprits for large divides
Companies taking taxpayer support have been urged to narrow the gap between bosses’ and workers’ pay to help the economy recover post-Covid.
In research that shames boardroom excess, chief executives at some of Britain’s biggest companies were found to be earning 200 times more than their average employee.
The High Pay Centre analysed pay ratio data at 107 FTSE 350 firms. The 39 companies on taxpayer support were some of the worst culprits for large divides.
Weathering the storm: The High Pay Centre analysed pay ratio data at 107 FTSE 350 firms
Bosses at these firms took home 60 times more than a median worker’s salary – higher than the average of 55 times across all of the companies analysed.
The High Pay Centre estimated that across all 107 companies, cutting pay by just 3 per cent in the top 25 per cent of a company’s earners could give the lowest-paid staff a £2,000 pay rise. A 5 per cent pay cut would hand them £3,250, and 10 per cent £6,500.
The High Pay Centre argued that tackling company inequality could form a key pillar of the push for businesses to ‘build back better’.
The calls come as analysts and politicians are scrambling to work out how to revive the economy. Of the 39 companies taking taxpayer support, Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC had the largest pay gap – 229 times – between boss Kenny Alexander and an average worker.
The gambling giant has used Government-funded furlough and business rates relief in the crisis to save £20m a month. Top bosses took a 20 per cent pay cut in basic salary and fees for three months to help save cash, while the board and executive committee will forego their bonuses for 2020.
But topping the table will still be an embarrassment for the company – which last year reduced Alexander’s salary from £950,000 to £800,000.
Other firms taking Government support include Next, which has a ratio of 178 to one and has furloughed 33,000 staff, and Cineworld, whose boss was paid 114 times more than ordinary workers.
Luke Hildyard, executive director of High Pay Centre, said: ‘Companies accepting public money ought to act in the public interest. When CEOs are making more than 100 times that of their lowest-paid colleagues, there’s clearly potential for redistribution.’
Share or comment on this article: