Executive staffing agencies are constantly looking for the best candidate for the right position, but with pay steadily rising it can be hard to pull someone away from the employment they’re familiar with. The vast discrepancy of pay between the executives and front-line workers in most companies is nothing new, but it’s also not getting any better. At least not in the U.K., where chief executives are silently celebrating the colloquial holiday known as “Fat Cat Tuesday.”
According to the global adviser and industry news source StaffingIndustry.com, Jan. 5 has become known as the date that chief executives will have already made more in the new year than the average worker will make in the entire year. This is based off of information from a UK-based independent think-tank, High Pay Centre.
“Fat Cat Tuesday again highlights the continuing problem of the unfair pay gap in the U.K.,” Stefan Stern, High Pay Centre director, said. “Over-payment at the top is fueling distrust of business, at a time when business needs to demonstrate that it is part of the solution to harsh times and squeezed incomes, and is promoting a recovery in which all employees can benefit.”
The High Pay Centre estimates that by late afternoon on Jan. 5, chief executives will have made about £27,645 (just over $40,000 USD), or what the average worker can expect to make in total over the next 12 months. Looking at 100 different chief executives the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) found that the average chief executive salary was £4.96 million a year in 2014 — or $7.28 million in the United States, where income inequality is also an issue. Even if you factor in longer typical hours and fewer holidays, it still works out to over £1,200 ($1,760) an hour.
These numbers continue to inflate despite the fact that the U.K. government has enacted some measures to try and combat the widening gap, like giving shareholders the power to veto excessive packages.
“There is growing public concern about rising inequality and its impact on our social fabric,” Seema Malhotra, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury said. “Such a gap cannot be right for Britain or for our long-term economic stability.”