To understand the extent to which the UK's 100 largest publicly listed companies are responding to new standards in corporate governance, particularly in relation to how they reward their most senior executives, the CIPD and the High Pay Centre conduct an annual review of FTSE 100 firms' annual reports. This year’s report also examines CEO pay in the FTSE 250.

Key findings

  • CEO pay has continued to jump up and down between £3.5 and £4 million since 2010. It dipped to £3.46 million in 2018, but it's too early to tell if this is the start of a downward trend.

  • The average FTSE 100 CEO earns 117 times more than the average UK worker (based on median, full-time salaries).

  • 43 companies increased CEO pay in 2018, and a number of CEOs have seen their multi-million-pound reward packages more than double.

  • FTSE 100 companies spent at least £2.08 billion on key management personnel in 2018, but disclosures for this level of management are inconsistent and lacking in transparency.

  • Evidence to justify executive pay packages is weak.

Download the report below for more facts and figures.

Why this matters to the CIPD

Work can and should be a force for good – benefiting individuals, businesses, economies and society. But an excessive gap between the highest and lowest earners is not good for business or society: it undermines long-term business success and it fuels social inequality.

What change do we want to see?

Our ultimate goal is to establish a greater appreciation and understanding of why people matter and are worthy of greater investment from employers - and for this to be duly reflected in the way organisations are governed and managed.

To achieve this, we need to:

  1. Reform the way in which pay and performance is governed, by replacing RemCos with committees for people and culture

  2. Link CEO pay packages to fewer but more meaningful measures of performance, including non-financial measures that incentivise CEOs to invest in their workforce and look after all of the business' stakeholders.

  3. Give companies' workforces the opportunity to feed into the pay setting process, for example via an employee representative on the RemCo or committee for people and culture. 

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