Directors of top companies have seen their median earnings increase by 14% in the past year, driven by a huge rise in share-based long-term incentive payments, according to a new report.
A study by pay analysts IDS found that basic pay rises for directors of FTSE100 firms were “relatively restrained” at 4%, while annual bonuses were 8.8% lower.
But the directors benefited from long-term incentive plans (LTIP), which jumped by 58%, taking the median total from £764,000 (€913,000) to over £1.2m (€1.4m), the study revealed.
Steve Tatton, of IDS, said: “These divergent pay trends highlight the complex make-up of boardroom remuneration, illustrating that while one part of a director’s pay package may go down, another part may go up.
“With nearly two-thirds of FTSE directors benefiting from an LTIP award in the latest year, the higher share-based payouts clearly made up for any ground lost in lower annual bonuses.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Britain’s top bosses are back to their old tricks as their pay is growing 20 times faster than the average worker.
“It’s one thing replacing bonuses with long-term incentive plans, but FTSE 100 companies are simply exploiting this change to make their fat cats even fatter.
“The time has come for legislation to put ordinary workers on the pay committees of companies. This is the only way to bring some sanity to the way in which directors are paid.”