Geoff Pearce, VP of reward at NGA Human Resources It isA fact of life that some people will always be earning more than others. But firms need to be aware that Fat Cat Wednesday will make staff on all levels question their wages. This can be particularly concerning as employees often start looking for a new job in January and their salary can be a key consideration when deciding whether to move on or not. With the gender pay gap still being wide open, companies need to take a good look in the mirror and evaluate how fair and equal salary policies are. Fairness, in line with level and experience, is essential in keeping employees happy and engaged. High pay is clearly on the government’s agenda though following the publication of the Corporate Governance Reform?White Paper in November 2016. The review will consider issues including’shareholder rights, the role of remuneration”CommitteesAnd transparency. Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD? There is still a shocking disconnect between the pay for those at the top and the rest of the workforce at too many FTSE companies, despite efforts to rein in executive pay in recent years. The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better as higher inflation in 2017 will mean many frontline workers will face a pay squeeze. It followsA CIPD study showing 59?per cent of staff identify CEO pay as an issue that demotivates them at work. The message from the workforce is clear: “the more you take, the less we ll give”. Business leaders need to ensure there is a link between overall top pay, organisation performance and the rewards of the wider workforce or risk reducing employee engagement and productivity at work. James Reed, chairman of REED recruitment This debate doesn’t feel productive. Having ridiculous amounts of money doesn’t make you happy and being deeply envious of others doesn’t either. And as a pragmatic person I believe there is nothing to gain in slating others. Rather, we should be focusing our attention on investing in education and skills for as many people as possible. We shouldn?t get sidetracked by Fat Cat Wednesday. Their salaries are ludicrous but they don’t represent the rest of the working population. We should focus our attention on pushing skills and wages up. So let’s stop tearing each other down and help the talented and ambitious individuals who reside in the UK. We all know that the pull to London is difficult to resist for many graduates, but we need to invest and ensure ambitious graduates have opportunities nationwide. From careers advice in schools, to work experience and upskilling let’s arm our workforce with the knowledge and the skills needed to succeed!And why do cats always get such bad press anyway? Professor Vikas Shah, CEO of Swiscot Group We need to rethink how performance is rewarded across business period. We have a situation where the c-suite are incentivised often on short-term (quarterly) performance whilst employees are (usually) aiming to build long-term success for themselves and the business. Imagine the situation where during an employee’s time with a company, it could go through a number of owners, each wanting a significant return on their investment and each incentivising the c-suite to deliver that return by giving them a slice of the pie. Private businesses that I work with, particularly those which have a high proportion of external versus family board tend to have much less inequality across salary bandings. More-so than any of this, we need to look at what we (as investors and business owners) value as important. Are we looking for rock-star c-suite teams to inflate and exit for their investors” Or are we looking for custodians to build multi-generation or large international businesses that can withstand the test of time By Shan” Schutte
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