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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 00:40 GMT 01:40 UK
Top bosses 'enjoy 288% pay rise'
The average worker has had a 45% rise over the past 10 years
Britain's leading bosses have enjoyed pay rises six times as great as those of the average employee over the past decade, according to a survey.

It also shows that in the last year the salaries and bonuses of chief executives in the top 100 UK companies went up by nearly 17%.

Over the last 10 years the chief executives of leading firms have seen pay rises of an average 288%.

In comparison the average earnings of British workers have grown by 45%.

Boardroom salaries

The group behind the figures, consultancy firm Incomes Data Services, say the rapidly widening pay gap could cause tension over pay structures within firms.

Boardroom - generic
Boardroom greed has reached epidemic proportions; it is a self perpetuating clique of people

They believe it could increase the demands for companies to declare what their bosses are paid as a multiple of the wages of an average worker.

But the employers' organisation, the CBI, said that UK companies already had to reveal full details of boardroom salaries in their annual reports.

A spokesman argued that the increase in executive pay had been driven by the realities of the modern market for company leaders.

The 17% rise in chief executives' salaries and bonuses over the past year compares with from 11% over the previous year.

Pay freezes

Last month another study by Incomes Data Services suggested that chief executive pay rises were slowing across all industry sectors.

It found salary increases in the boardroom averaged 2.8% between April and June, down from 4% in the previous three months.

The survey of more than 70,000 managers and professionals also found growing evidence that business chiefs are accepting pay freezes.

Peter Breen, Heidrick and Struggles
"The trend towards transparency on everything is making it increasingly tough to be a chief executive"

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