311 Years for Living Wage Worker to Earn Same as FTSE CEO

A worker earning the updated national Living Wage, would need to work for 311 years to earn a single year’s pay for a FTSE 100 CEO, according to new analysis by The Equality Trust.

  • Someone earning the new Living Wage would need to work until the year 2324 to earn just a year’s average salary for a FTSE 100 CEO[1].
  • Those earning the new Living Wage would earn £14,516 a year, compared to a staggering £4,516,000 average for FTSE 100 CEOs .
  • Whilst those on the new Living Wage can expect to just cover the basics like food, rent and transport, FTSE 100 CEOs receive the equivalent of a national lottery win every 10 months[2].
  • But you are 11 times more likely to run a FTSE 100 company if you went to private school than if you didn’t. 45% of FTSE 100 CEOs and Chairs went to private school, compared to just 7% of the population.[3]

Duncan Exley, Director of The Equality Trust, said:

“The gap between the rich and the rest is now almost impossible to grasp. The message has always been that if you work hard you get the rewards, but can we honestly say that a FTSE CEO works 311 times harder than someone on the Living Wage?

“There has been a lot of talk on the affordability of the Living Wage. But we need to take a look at the affordability of astronomical executive pay. We cannot simply allow those at the bottom to be seen as a cost to be reduced, while those at the top are lavished with higher and higher wages.”


Calculation of the date of 2324 was based on Living Wage workers working a 37.5hr week, with zero pay for bank holidays.


[1] 1999-2012 (2012 being latest year data available) Source: Manifest/ MM&K, The Executive Director Total Remuneration Survey 2013, June 2013. Available at:http://blog.manifest.co.uk

[2] Based on predictions of an average of £5m winnings for Saturday draws, and £2.5 for Wednesday draws. According to Lottery operators Camelot http://www.camelotgroup.co.uk/news/uk-national-lottery-news/games-and-brands/NewLottotoLaunchwithTwoUnmissableEvents30072013

[3]  http://www.equalapproach.com/news-and-blog/class-ceilings.aspx