Almost two thirds of top firms fail to pay “real living wage” as bosses earn big

Nearly two thirds of top UK firms fail to pay the “real living wage” while their bosses earn millions a year.

The 61 biggest companies raked in a combined £86.5billion profit last year.

And some chief executives banked 173 times more than the average pay of their full time workers.

Top earners include Persimmon house builder boss Jeff Fairburn, paid £47million last year, and chief executive of business specialist Melrose, Simon Peckham, on a £42.7million package.

The huge pay gap has been revealed by the High Pay Centre think tank.

It looked at the top 100 firms on the London Stock Exchange ahead of Living Wage Week, starting tomorrow. The Government’s legal minimum is £7.83 an hour but the real living wage is £8.75.

Around a third of FTSE 100 firms are accredited to the Living Wage Foundation, which recommends the higher figure.

The figures are likely to spark fresh calls for a government cap.

The High Pay Centre said: “Pay is not just a business issue but a moral one, companies need to recognise the message figures send about their values.”

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