The Government should insist Irish stockmarket-listed companies publish more details about the pay of their chief executives and the pay gap with ordinary workers, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said.
Chief executives of 22 of the 26 companies earned total pay of close to or above €1m, while the best-paid earned as much as €8.2m in the case of CRH, according to Ictu’s latest annual top-pay report of Irish companies listed on the Dublin or London stock markets.
Ictu said it wants the Government to insist companies publish the ratio between the highest and average pay in their reports.
In the case of CRH, Ictusaid it would show a 212-to-1 ratio, based on the most recently available accounts.
“The new EU Shareholder Rights Directive, which was due to have become Irish law by June of this year but has not yet happened, is a good first step in pay transparency and tackling wage inequality,” said Laura Bambrick at Ictu.
“However, despite the efforts of Congress, as detailed in our report, Government refuses to grasp the opportunity the directive presents to include more ambitious provisions — such as legally obliging listed companies to make pay ratio disclosures.”
Its analysis showed the top bosses at half of its survey of 26 Irish firms —which include Smurfit Kappa, Tullow Oil, Kerry Group, Glanbia, DCC, Paddy Power, and Ryanair — was more than 50 times the pay of the average worker, Ictu said.
The ratio was 87-1 in the case of Smurfit, 80-1 at Tullow, 75-1 at DCC, and 71-1 at Irish Ferries owner ICG.
Other top-to-average ratios include 66-1 at Kerry, 60-1 at Glanbia; and a top-pay-to-average-wage ratio of 59-1 at Ryanair. Ictu said that at 18 of the 26 companies, the basic pay of the best-paid executive was up to half of total pay.
“Public companies have a legal obligation to publish certain information, including pay of their management team,” Ictu said.
Private companies are under no such obligation and their executives’ pay remains shrouded in secrecy.
“But there is nothing to prevent a future Government making such reporting a requirement of firms tendering for public contracts.”