FTSE 100 executives are paid an average 131 times more than their employees, according to research by the High Pay Centre.
The research, which compared FTSE 100 executive pay recorded by organisations in their annual reports, found that there has been a rise in executive pay levels compared to those of average UK employees over the past three decades.
In 1980, executives were paid between 13 and 44 times their average employee. By 1998, this had risen to the average FTSE 100 executive being paid 47 times their average employee’s wages.
The pay gap at Randgold Resources means its chief executive officer Mark Bristow earns 231 times more than his employees.
The research also found that WPP executive Martin Sorrel took home a pay package nearly 800 times bigger than the average employee, while Next chief executive Lord Wolfson was paid 459 times more than an average employee.
Organisations must now publish how much their senior executives earn each year in their annual reports, with shareholders given votes on pay.
Deborah Hargreaves (pictured), director at the High Pay Centre, said: “While government figures confirm that wages for ordinary employees keep falling, it’s clear that not everyone is feeling the pain.
“When executives make hundreds of times as much money as the rest of the workforce, it creates a deep sense of unfairness.
“Britain’s executives have not got so much better over the past two decades. The only reason why their pay has increased so rapidly compared to their employees is that they are able to get away with it. The government needs to take more radical action on top pay to deliver a fair economy that ordinary people can have faith in.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills added: “The government has introduced comprehensive reforms to give shareholders more powers in order to restore the link between top pay and performance, which, in recent years, has become excessive and increasingly disconnected.
“In October 2013 new laws reforming the governance of top pay came into force, boosting transparency by arming shareholders with more information and giving them the power to hold companies to account.
“Business secretary Vince Cable also wrote to all the members of the Remuneration Committees back in April urging restraint, and while we will need to wait until the end of the AGM season before we can reflect on the full impact of these actions, many firms have already seen top pay voted down.”