The CEOs of Britain’s 100 largest firms are earning on average 143 times more than their staff, according to a study by the High Pay Centre.

The report, which was published today, exposes the growing imbalance between how the nation’s workforce and its business leaders are paid.

The pay gap is widest at Rangold Resources, where boss Mark Bristow was paid £4.4 million last year, almost 1,500 time more than his average employee, many of whom work in the company’s Africa mines, the study found.

WPP was also singled out, as boss Sir Martin Sorrell received nearly £30 million last year – 780 times the average wage, recorded at £38,000, earned by those working under the giant corporate umbrella.

The pay gap is widening, the report claims. The typical FTSE 100 CEO was paid £4.7 million in 2013, up from £4.1 million the year before whereas a decade ago, they took home around £1 million a year.

High Pay Centre director, Deborah Hargreaves, said:

“When bosses make hundreds of times as much money as the rest of the workforce, it creates a deep sense of unfairness. Britain’s executives haven’t got so much better over the past two decades. The only reason why their pay has increased so rapidly compared to their employees is that they are able to get away with it.

“The government needs to take more radical action on top pay to deliver a fair economy that ordinary people can have faith in.”

Measures to try to curb executive pay were introduced last year by business secretary Vince Cable. Companies must now publish in their yearly report a single clear figure detailing how much their leaders get paid. Shareholders have also been given binding votes to decide on pay.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said:

“The government has introduced comprehensive reforms to give shareholders more powers in order to restore the link between top pay and performance, which in recent years has become excessive and increasingly disconnected.

“In October 2013 new laws reforming the governance of top pay came into force, boosting transparency by arming shareholders with more information and giving them the power to hold companies to account.”

Photo by J D Mack