The pay of FTSE 100 bosses surged 11 percent in the past year, pushing their median pay up to nearly £4 million ($5.1 million), according to a report which also found full-time employees received a 2 percent rise over the same period.
The report comes at a time of growing shareholder activism over big pay-outs, with companies including BT, Royal Mail and WPP all being forced to contend with stormy annual investor meetings over recent months.
The research, published Wednesday, by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the High Pay Centre showed a full-time worker on a median salary of £23,474 would need to work 167 years to earn the median annual pay of a FTSE 100 chief executive — up from 153 years in 2016.
"When CEOs are happily banking ever larger bonuses while average worker pay is squeezed, then something is going very wrong," said Rachel Reeves, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour party who chairs the business, energy and industrial strategy committee, which is leading an inquiry on fair pay.
"Recent revolts on pay awards show that shareholders are increasingly sharing this frustration at unjustifiable pay awards … If businesses don't step up on executive pay, then (the) government will need to step in," she added.