342 years for National Minimum Wage worker to earn pay of FTSE 100 CEO

Workers paid tomorrow’s raised National Minimum Wage (NMW) would have to work until September 2nd 2357 to earn the average annual pay of FTSE 100 CEOs, research conducted by The Equality Trust has revealed. While the NMW has increased by 81%[1] since its introduction, average remuneration for these CEOs has increased by 243%[2].

The Equality Trust research also found that:

  • If the NMW had risen at the same speed as FTSE 100 CEO pay it would be worth £12.33 an hour today, almost double the current £6.50
  • Compared to the NMW’s 81% increase, the price of a loaf of bread has increased by 149% [3] and the price of gas by 192% [4].
  • If NMW workers were paid the national Living Wage of £7.65 an hour instead, they would receive an extra £2,182 a year.

Duncan Exley, Director of The Equality Trust, said:

“Inequality in the UK is breath-taking, but what’s worse is there are still people who will have you believe that it is not only justifiable, but also desirable. It is ridiculous. Is anyone ‘worth’ 342 times more than someone else, whatever the measure? 

“The reason for our inequality is that a small number at the top have managed to acquire more and more of the country’s wealth and income without making us all better off. That’s left a huge number of us worrying about how to put a roof over our heads and pay the bills.

“Incredibly the gap between executive pay and those on the minimum wage narrowed slightly this year. This is partly because executive pay has taken a hit, but also because of an above inflation increase in the minimum wage, which is positive news. But this also highlights just how grotesque the pay gap has become in recent years. At a time when median pay also remains stubbornly unresponsive, it’s little wonder so many people are questioning as to who is benefitting from our economic recovery.

“We desperately need all political parties to see the public discontent with inequality and commit to its reduction. A 50p top tax rate and a raise in the minimum wage is a start, but there has been little else at the party conferences so far to suggest politicians are serious about reducing inequality. In fact a raft of policies announced on pensions, welfare and housing would likely see it increase. 

“We must now see politicians on all sides take action, with concrete support for policies that help to reduce such huge inequality. Increasing our miserly minimum wage would be a good place to start”

Notes to editors

The Equality Trust works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality . The Trust is working with others to build a social movement for change. We analyse and disseminate the latest research, promote robust evidence-based arguments and support a dynamic network of campaign groups across the country.


Calculation of the date of 2357 was based on NMW workers working a 37.5hr week, with zero pay for bank holidays.

[1] Source: National Minimum Wage see: http://www.lowpay.gov.uk/

[2] 1999-2013 (2013 being latest year data available) Source: Manifest/ MM&K, The Executive Director Total Remuneration Survey 2014, June 2014. Available at:http://blog.manifest.co.uk

[3] Source: Bread: (Oct 99 to Oct 2013) http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/datasets-and-tables/data-selector.html?cdid=CZOH&dataset=mm23&table-id=3.1

[4] Gas: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322799/qep_June_2014.pdf