BOSSES at the UK's top companies will make more money in just four working days than the average worker in Cheshire East and West will all year, estimates suggest.

The High Pay Centre said some of the country's lowest paid jobs have been the most important during the Covid-19 pandemic – and that income inequality may now be harder to justify.

The think tank estimates the median annual pay of FTSE 100 CEOs was £2.7 million (around £827.69 per hour of their 12.5-hour days) in 2020 – the latest data available.

Assuming they start work at 8.30am, they earned a Cheshire East full-time worker's median salary (£32,103 in 2021) by around 9.30am on Friday, January 7 – just the fourth working day of the year.

This means it would take an average Cheshire East employee 84 years to earn the annual salary of a top CEO.

Meanwhile, a Cheshire West and Chester full-time worker's median salary (£32,921 in 2021) would be earned by around 10.30am on Friday, January 7.

An average Cheshire West employee would take 82 years to earn the annual salary of a top CEO.

High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said: "Covid-19 has shown how much we all depend on each other. Some of the lowest-paying jobs have played the most important role to keep society functioning through the pandemic.

"With the value of the UK economy reduced, there’s also greater pressure to share what we do have more evenly.

"In this context, vast CEO to worker pay differences may be harder to justify."

The average Cheshire East salary was down from £32,601 in 2020, with salaries in Cheshire West and Chester up from £31,389.

Meanwhile, the High Pay Centre said CEO pay had also fallen by 17 per cent from £3.3 million in 2019, making it the first time since it was founded in 2011 that CEOs have needed to work into a fourth day to earn the same annual pay as a full-time worker in the UK.

Danny Magill, senior research officer at the Equality Trust, said: "In a year where this country has faced unprecedented economic challenges, most CEOs pay packages barely changed, showing how detached high earning CEOs have become from the realities of ordinary working people.

"While the taxpayer supported large companies, it was essential workers that kept the economy afloat throughout the pandemic, often for low wages, with no sick pay and at great personal risk."