UK top bosses to earn £5m in2016
Executives at FTSE 100 firms will make more money in two days that average UK worker will earn in 2016 Reuters

The bosses of the UK's top firms will have made more money in the first two working days of 2016 than the average British worker will earn in the remainder of the year.

According to calculations by the High Pay Centre think tank, company executives returning to work in the new year will have have made more than £27,645 (€37,608, $40,620), the UK average annual salary, by late afternoon on 5 January, the so-called "Fat Cat Tuesday".

The think tank added that the average pay of CEOs at FTSE 100 companies has now rise to £4.96m, which translates to an hourly pay of more than £1,200 , while the latest Manifest MMK pay survey found the typical value of a FTSE 100 CEO's incentive award has risen by nearly 50% of salary since the previous year.

In comparison, the salary of the average UK worker has increased by just £445 to £27,645.

High Pay Centre said that even considering CEOs worked 12 hours a day, including three out of every four weekends, and took less than 10 days holiday each year, they would have to work approximately 22 hours to surpass the average annual retribution for UK employees.

The sharp discrepancy between the figures is likely to cast further doubts on the effectiveness of the government's efforts to limit huge salaries by giving shareholders the power to veto excessive pay packages.

"'Fat Cat Tuesday' again highlights the continuing problem of the unfair pay gap in the UK," said High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern. "We are not all in this together, it seems.

"Over-payment at the top is fuelling 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."

Commenting on the survey, TUC's General Secretary Frances O'Grady said the figures proved the government was not doing enough to deliver a fair economy. "Every worker deserves a fair share of the wealth they help create," she said. "But the average weekly wage is still worth £40 a week less than before the financial crisis.

"The government must start making the right choices to deliver a fair economy with fair pay, like giving workers more collective pay bargaining rights."