By the end of Wednesday FTSE 100 bosses will have earned more than the average UK worker makes in a year

FSTE bosses will have earned more than most British workers do in a year in just the first three working days of the year. Credit: Unsplash

Bosses some of the UK's biggest companies will have earned the equivalent of the average British worker's wage by the end of the day.

By 5.30pm on Wednesday, the median FTSE 100 CEOs' earnings for 2021 will surpass the median annual wage for a full-time worker in the UK - one hour more than they had to work last year, according to research by think tank High Pay Centre.

CEO pay levels have remained flat, according to the think tank's analysis, while UK workers pay has increased slightly, forcing CEOs to work 34 hours of the year to surpass median earnings compared to just 33 hours in 2020.

The organisation's review of FTSE 100 CEOs' earning for the financial year ending (FYE) 2019 median pay for top bosses is £3.61 million - the lowest level since 2011.

This is 119 times the median UK full-time worker salary of £30,353 and 145 times the median salary of all UK workers (£24,897).

The findings are based on previous analysis of CEO pay disclosures in companies' annual reports, combined with government statistics showing pay levels across the UK economy.

Canary Wharf, London's financial district hub.

But the most recent figures on CEO pay and UK full time workers’ annual earnings do not fully account for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation says 'High Pay Day 2021' highlights the impact on inequality on the public's health and wellbeing.

The gap between the typical UK worker and bosses of top firms has grown considerably in the last three decades, fuelled by the increasingly dominate role in the economy played by the finance industry.

Pay for top CEOs today is now about 120 times that of the typical UK worker. Estimates suggest it was around 50 times at the turn of the millennium or 20 times in the early 1980s.

The construction industry has been hit hard by the pandemic Credit: Press Association

Alongside the finance industry's dominance in the economy, the outsourcing of low-paid work and the decline of trade union membership have widened the gaps between those at the top and everybody else over recent decades.

The High Pay Centre said: "These figures will raise concern about the governance of big businesses and whether major employers are distributing pay in a way that rewards the contribution of different workers fairly.

"They should also prompt debate about the effects that high levels of inequality can have on social cohesion, crime, and public health and wellbeing."