A person on the average wage would need 270 years to earn as much as Ireland’s best paid boss
Bosses at some of Ireland’s biggest companies earn an average of more than €2 million a year, according to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
It said many Irish chief executives earn more in bonuses and salary top-ups than they do from their basic salaries.
The ICTU examined the earnings of the CEOs of the 20 biggest firms listed on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ), 12 semi-state organisations and seven large Irish companies listed in London.
It found the average basic chief executive pay of the Irish companies listed on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ) was €786,000 in 2016 compared to €701,000 in 2015 – well above the basic pay of the London-listed bosses, which was €568,000.
After bonuses are taken into account, the average total pay in 2016 for the CEOs of the 27 listed companies was €2.1 million.
CRH boss Albert Manifold was the highest earner with a basic salary of just €1.4 million but total earnings of over €10 million in 2016 – almost double what he earned in 2015.
The heads of Tullow Oil, Kerry Group and Greencore rounded out the top five with total earnings of €3.8 million, €3.6 million and €3.3 million respectively.
London-listed oil and gas explorer Aminex had the lowest CEO pay of any company polled – boss JC Bhattacherjee had a total pay packet of €335,000 in 2016.
CEO pay in 2015 and 2016
The ICTU said it would take someone on €36,900 – the average wage for an Irish worker in 2016 – 270 years to earn what Albert Manifold earned in 12 months. This is an increase on the 151 years the ICTU estimated the same person would need to match his 2015 earnings.
Dr Peter Rigney, one of the authors of the report, said: “In our view, if this trend is left unchecked it will inevitably lead to greater levels of inequality across society.”