High Pay Centre

Development of a ‘manifesto for fair pay’ and further analysis of company pay ratios.






September 2023 – November 2024 

Grant Awarded



Project summary

Towards development of a ‘manifesto for fair pay’ comprising policies that would have a ‘pre-distributive’ effect and subsequent engagement with policymakers and policy influencers before and after the forthcoming General Election. Funding was also provided towards continuation of research on pay ratio disclosures detailing pay distribution at FTSE 350 companies (see more on this project here).


Incomes for the richest 3% of the UK population are higher than the incomes of the richest people in most other European countries. Middle- and low-income households in the UK are poorer than those in the middle and at the bottom in nearly all other Western European countries. Evidence suggests greater income equality in other countries is more influenced by fairer pay at source, rather than tax and transfers afterwards.

Project overview

The project will compile a long-list of pre-distributive measures found in national and international research. A steering group of experts and stakeholders will deliberate on and refine a policy list, ensuring that measures selected are those proven or likely to be most effective in delivering pre-tax benefits to workers’ pay.

Nationally representative polling will be commissioned to investigate wider public attitudes to proposed measures. With the expert advisory group adjudicating on final policy measures, a ‘manifesto for fair pay’ will be produced and circulated actively to all major political parties.

In addition, a further report on pay ratios published by UK listed companies will be produced. This will analyse the extent of pay differences between the CEO and low and middle earners; the  difference more even distribution might make; and reforms to reporting requirements that might bring this about.