What is ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’?
As of midday today, top bosses in the UK will have already earnt more than typical workers will earn in a whole year, despite the fact that we are only two and a half working days into 2017, making today ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’.
The High Pay Centre calculate that the average FTSE 100 boss now earns more than £1,000 per hour, whereas the average UK salary is £28,200, meaning that leading bosses now earn 129 times more than most of their staff. With the average weekly wage now worth less than it was nine years ago the latest figures highlight the increasing pay gap between executives and the workers on the ground, which many believe is only likely to increase further given the uncertainty following the Brexit vote and the low value of the pound.
Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Professional Development has found that six out of 10 employees cited pay of Chief Executives within their organisation as a major issue demotivating factor for them at work, highlighting a ‘shocking disconnect’ between top bosses and the general workforce.
One possible solution that the government had originally mooted was the introduction of employees sitting on Company boards, particularly on committees that set Executive pay levels. This reflected the Prime Minister’s aim for a country ‘that works not for the privileged but that works for every one of us’. However, she has since backtracked from the proposal.
The TUC has commented today that ‘working people deserve a fair share of the wealth they help create’. A spokesperson for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said that the government is actively consulting on a range of options to address concerns around excessive levels of executive pay. In the meantime new rules requiring gender pay reporting which are due to come into force in April this year are also expected to further highlight the disparity between top level pay packets and those of the average worker, with the potential that this also brings to the fore claims of sex discrimination.
If you feel that you are being treated unfairly at work and would like legal advice on your options, please contact one of the experts in our Employment Team.