In 2018, rising public concern about pay inequality prompted the introduction of a revised UK Corporate Governance Code. This initiated reforms to broaden the remit of boards and remuneration committees (RemCos) – which manage executive pay – to ensure they give more attention to associated issues such as culture, fair and proportionate workforce pay and employee engagement.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has further heightened issues of inequalities in society and the CIPD believes that the value of treating people well, and the associated opportunities and risks, should be central to corporate governance and strategic leadership conversations for organisations of all sizes. 

In 2019, we made the case for organisations to formalise the place of people at the boardroom by evolving their RemCos into people and culture committees. 

The latest report by the CIPD and the High Pay Centre – funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust –  focuses on practical measures that some companies are already undertaking, drawing on interviews with HR leaders, board directors and investors, as well as evidence from case studies. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, people professionals can use these examples as a roadmap for change in their own organisations.  

Key insights from the report include the importance of:

  • engaging the workforce in the pay-setting process, 
  • formalising people and culture matters as board-level issues (appointing at least one board member with HR experience), and
  • recognising that company performance should be measured in terms of non-financial as well as financial metrics.   

Download the full report here:

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