Directors in manufacturing have enjoyed pay increases more than three times the size of the average executive in the sector.
The figures have been released as part of new salary data published today by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR, with the differences in pay largely due to percentage increases in bonus payments at top levels, compared with previous years.
The salary data, taken from more than 5,167 executives in 23 manufacturing organisations, shows that basic salaries plus bonuses rose by 4.6 per cent on average over the last year, a figure higher than the 3.3 per cent increase the year before.
However, even though the average basic salary for all company directors, including chief executives, increased by just 3.3 per cent, the figure jumps dramatically to 17.3 per cent over the past year when bonus payments are accounted for.
Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, says: “It’s hard to believe that company directors and CEOs have seen such a big leap in bonus payments when economic performance remains so sluggish.
“If organisations aren’t performing, leaders shouldn’t get these bumper rewards, especially when pay increases for all other management levels have been so much smaller.”
The 2013 data shows that the average bonus for directors, excluding chief executives, is currently more than nine times the size of the average bonus for all executives – £39,182 compared to £4,071.
The National Management Salary Survey marks its 40th anniversary this year with a look back to the national data from the first edition in 1973, and reveals how much the gap between salaries of those at the top and executives lower down the ranks has widened over the last four decades.
Chief executives are earning 30 per cent more now than would be expected from the 1973 data, while middle managers now earn 28 per cent less than the 1973 figures predict.
In 1973, average salaries stood at £3,855 for a middle manager and £10,600 for a chief executive, compared to £43,456 and £215,879 respectively today.
Mark Crail, head of salary surveys and HR benchmarking at XpertHR, says: “Through good times and bad, those at the very top have enjoyed pay rises over a period of 40 years that have opened up a massive gap, not just with workers on the shop floor but with middle and even relatively senior managers.
“In 1973 when we launched this survey, a typical chief executive earned less than three times as much as a middle manager; today they earn nearly five times as much. This isn’t just a short-term boost for top executives, it’s a big long-term change in society.”