Over half of the country’s FTSE 100 CEOs have had their salaries frozen in the past year, according to PwC.
This represents an average total single figure pay drop of 22% from around £4.3m to £3.5m over the period.
Some 53% of CEOs, as well as 52% of CFOs, have seen their salaries frozen compared to 35% and 30% in 2019, respectively.
Phillippa O’Connor, reward and employment leader at PwC, said: “It’s still relatively early in the AGM season but the current environment and impact of the pandemic has clearly led shareholders to sharpen their pencils when reviewing executive pay levels this year.
“Companies will need to take extra care to navigate wider stakeholder sentiment as the AGM season continues.”
She added: “There will be added scrutiny around any pay rises that are greater than those for the wider workforce and incentive outcomes that are either not aligned with business performance or do not take into account the company’s approach towards matters such as dividends and government support.
“It is clear from the pay outcomes we have seen to date in the FTSE 100 that companies have exercised restraint when it comes to both determining outcomes for the 2020 performance year and setting pay on a forward looking basis for 2021.”