NEWS / Sustain

Pay ratios come out of the closet

Considered until recently to be an unrealistic 'ask' that would alienate businesses, the idea that pay ratios should be published has found its way into both Labour and Conservative election manifestos. Sustain welcomes the development, because some of the widest pay ratios are in the food sector.

Pay ratios are a way of illustrating the pay difference between the highest paid and less well paid employees within organisations. For some time, there has been a small but growing campaign (spearheaded by organisations such as the High Pay Centre and Paycompare) for pay ratios to be published, either voluntarily or as a legal requirement. It is argued that greater transparency would highlight the scale of the disparities and encourage a fairer pay distribution within companies.
 
Now, suddenly, the topic has gone mainstream. The Labour manifesto (here) promises to roll out maximum pay ratios of 20:1 in the public sector and in companies bidding for public sector contracts 'because it cannot be right that wages at the top keep rising while everyone else's stagnates'. Targeting the private sector, the Conservative manifesto (here) would require listed companies to publish 'the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay'.
 
Sustain welcomes these developments. We have launched a strand of work that will investigate pay ratios in the food sector, where some of the widest disparities in the whole economy are to be found. Read our  blog post here. 

19/05/2017
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