The think tank have dubbed this day ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’ as top bosses in sectors such as insurance, banking and fund management amass the sum just two-and-half days into the new year, earning on average more than £1,000 an hour while the National Living Wage for over 25s is £7.20 an hour.
This comes after PM Theresa May announced plans in November to crack down on executive pay, seeking consultation on how to improve corporate governance.
High Pay Centre director, Stefan Stern, said: “Our new year calculation is not designed to make the return to work harder than it already is. But ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’ is an important reminder of the continuing problem of the unfair pay gap in the UK.
“We hope the government will recognise that further reform to pay practices are needed if this gap is to be closed. That will be the main point in our submission to the business department in its current consultation over corporate governance reform.”
Government figures show that the average total pay for CEOs of FTSE 100 companies has increased from £1m in 1998 to £4.3m in 2015, peaking at £4.75m in 2011.
In addition, the ratio of the average FTSE 100 CEO pay to that of full-time employees has grown from 47:1 in 1998 to 128:1 in 2015, thought to be largely due to growth in annual bonuses.
Trade Union Congress general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Working people deserve a fair share of the wealth they help create. But while the pay of top executives has been rocketing up, the average weekly wage is still worth less than it was nine years ago.
“The prime minister must stick to her promise to tackle excessive pay at the top. And she should keep her commitment to put workers on company boards. This would help keep executive salary decisions grounded in common sense and fairness.”