Fewer CEOs are getting pay rises: report

·1-min read

Even Australia's highest earners are not immune to the economic impact of the pandemic with many executives going without the usual annual top up to their six or seven figure pay packets.

In the most recent financial year just 25 per cent of executives and directors secured salary increases compared to 53 per cent the previous year, according to the Aon and Governance Institute of Australia Board and Executive Remuneration report.

The average total pay packet for CEOs across the 391 companies sampled was $2.49 million. For bosses of the top 50 ASX-listed companies the average was $6.06 million.

The average full-time Australian salary is $84,968.

Governance Institute of Australia CEO Megan Motto said even senior executives and board directors were not immune to low wages growth.

"Across the board, we are not seeing many, if any, meaningful salary increases," she said.

Ms Motto said there was a "reputation risk" attached to pay rises for senior management in a period of economic uncertainty.

"When so many in the community face economic uncertainty, people want to see the 'pain' spread evenly," she said.

There was a 10 per cent drop in bonuses and the average increase for those who did secure a payrise was lower - 1.4 per cent compared to two per cent the previous year.

Around one third of senior executives received increases in fixed pay, with an average increase of 1.9 per cent.

The report noted the events of 2020 highlighted the importance of a strong board and effective governance practices.

This, at a time when "social injustice incidents" brought diversity practices and response to light and bushfires and natural disasters sent a clear message that businesses can no longer ignore climate change.

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