Pandemic pay dip still nets top bosses £2.7m

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FTSE 100 chief executives typically earned £2.7million last year, down 17 percent on what they got in 2019, says the High Pay Centre think tank. In comparison, the same figure for full-time employees is £31,461, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Pharmacy assistants, cleaners, teaching assistants, shop workers, carers, refuse collectors and postal workers and couriers are among key workers that earn less than the median national salary.

Gary Smith, GMB general secretary, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the massive inequalities that exist in our society.

“It would take the same key workers we clapped for a lifetime to earn the cash fat-cat CEOs trouser in just one year.”

Nearly two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies paid their chief executive an annual bonus, down from 89 percent in 2019. The average bonus fell from £1.1million with £828,00

At the same time, 77 percent of big businesses paid out long-term incentive plans or LTIPs, which are for the performance of the previous three to five years, compared with 82 percent the year before. The value of the average LTIP fell by £1million to £1.4million.

High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said: “These are still very generous rewards for individuals at a time when, in general, government support for the economy has probably been more important to the survival and success of our biggest companies than the decisions of their executives.”

AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soriot took home £15.4million in 2020, the biggest pay, bonuses, pensions and LTIP package in the FTSE 100.

Second was Brian Cassin, head of consumer credit reports group Experian, on £10.3million, followed by Albert Manifold, chief of building materials group CRH, on £9.9million.

The High Pay Centre said that the nine companies that used furlough paid their chief executives on average £2.4million.

Median chief executive pay at the six companies run by women was £2.6million, versus £2.8million at businesses run by men.

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