Pay packets for top executives of FTSE 100 companies reached “stratospheric” levels, as research showed the gap between low-paid workers and top directors had grown even starker.
According to a report from the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the average yearly pay for FTSE 100 directors increased by 47 per cent between 2010 and 2015, hitting £3.4m.
By contrast, average wages for workers rose just 7 per cent over the same period.
The report also found that an average FTSE 100 top director earned a year’s worth of the minimum wage in a day.
Executive pay has been in the spotlight recently, after Prime Minster Theresa May pledged to curb the excessive pay top bosses received.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said the findings highlighted why Ms May had to deliver on her promise to tackle executive pay by putting workers on company boards and remuneration committees.
She added: “While millions of UK families have seen their living standards squeezed, directors’ pay has reached stratospheric levels.”
Britain’s highest-paid chief executive, Martin Sorrell, who heads up the advertising and public relations company WPP, took less than 45 minutes to earn what an average UK worker makes over an entire year, according to the trade union body.
Mr Sorrell was paid £70m in 2015, which is more than 2,500 times the average UK salary, and in 2015 he was paid the equivalent of £38,437 per hour.
Britain’s second highest-paid boss, Tony Pidgley, chief executive of the Berkeley group, was paid £23.2m in 2015, while Rakesh Kapoor of the Reckitt Benckiser group was paid just under £23m.