ICTU Report shows that Executive Pay continues to Climb

30 Dec 2018

Publication cover - Congress CEOPayBooklet2019 Cover image for Congress CEOPayBooklet2019

An analysis of twenty-six companies shows that the average total pay for Irish CEOs in 2017 is increasing at a rate of 6% per annum. The ICTU study reveals that the total remuneration packages can be as much as €8.6 million for the CEO of CRH, the buildings material business, to €3.6 million for the CEO of Paddy Power, while the CEO of the shipping company ICG received a remuneration of €2.3 million.

Dr Peter Rigney ICTU Industrial Officer and co-author of the report said that “according to the CSO, average earnings in 2017 were €37,646.  For the third year in a row, the greatest variance between the average worker’s wage and the top CEO’s is in CRH.  It would take an average worker 230 years to earn what the CEO earned in 2017.  This is closely followed by Kerry Group at 214 years and DCC at 141 years.  Even at the lowest paid CEO, that of Aminex, it would still take 9 years for the average worker to earn what the CEO earned in 2017”, he said.

Congress General Secretary Patricia King said “The upward trajectory of CEO pay continues unabated, notwithstanding growing concern at this phenomenon.  However, the consensus on high pay is changing.  There is a lessening degree of acceptance by shareholders, proxy advisors or by society as a whole that Executive Pay should continue on an unlimited upward trajectory”. 

Dr. Rigney said the way that companies report on Executive pay has become more rigorous, and this trend is set to continue.  Firms listed on the Dublin stock exchange are obliged to follow the guidelines of the (British) Financial Reporting Council.  New and more rigorous FRC guidelines will become effective in the 2020 season of reports.  It remains to be seen whether the effect of these new guidelines is to slow the rate of increase of corporate pay or merely to illustrate an unrelenting upward trend in greater detail.

This is the second update of our report on CEO pay, first published in January 2017. 

Each year we intend to focus on different aspects of corporate high earnings.  This year we address the issue of company directors’ pay, and of the role played by proxy advisors.  The analysis is based on Annual Reports for the year 2017.  The information comes from the published annual accounts of the companies concerned.

For 2017, we have examined twenty-six companies .We show the Basic Pay, Total Remuneration and Cash Bonus between 2016 and 2017, together with the pensions received by CEOs for 2017.  For comparison purposes the pay of the CEO at the twelve largest Commercial State companies is also shown.   

Please read here

Report co-authors

Dr.Peter Rigney 

Eileen Sweeney