High Pay Centre

Pay ratios and stakeholder voice at major UK companies

Programme

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Income

Duration

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Summer 2021 – Summer 2022

Grant Awarded

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£80,000

Project summary

Research on pay ratio disclosures detailing pay distribution at major UK employers; and reviewing stakeholder voice mechanisms in corporate governance structures.

Context

New regulations and reporting requirements are able to provide insights into pay and workplace voice.

The pay ratio disclosures that now appear in the annual reports of the UK’s biggest employers provide useful information on the pay of hundreds of thousands of low and middle earners. But to be of value, the disclosures and the trends they reveal need to be monitored and analysed on an ongoing basis. The project follows the first analysis of company pay ratios carried out by HPC in 2020, which was funded by the Foundation.

New provisions in the UK Corporate Governance Code require companies to introduce stakeholder voice into their corporate governance structures, but it is unclear how this is being put into practice and which mechanisms are the most effective.

Project overview

The project will cover two research projects: HPC’s second annual analysis of the pay ratio disclosures appearing in UK FTSE 350 companies’ annual reports; and a study of the impact of corporate governance reforms incorporating stakeholder voice mechanisms in UK-listed companies’ corporate governance structures. The research will be based on an analysis of company annual reports, interviews with employers and other key stakeholders, and opinion polling.