By 1pm on Friday, January 4 the UK's top company bosses will have already earned the same amount in 2019 as the average worker will be paid for the whole year.

A new report released today shows chief executives of leading UK companies are now paid 133 times more than the average worker, with the national living wage hourly rate for adults set at £7.83.

The research has been carried out by cross-party think tank the High Pay Centre(HPC), who have dubbed the event "fat cat friday", and have warned the widening pay gap between chief executives and their work force risks undermining trust in businesses.

According to the "RemCo reform" report, authored by HPC and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the average (median) full-time worker in the UK earns a gross annual salary of £29,574. “Fat Cat” Friday recognises that in 2019 the average FTSE 100 CEO, on an average (median) pay packet of £3.9 million, only needs to work until 1pm on Friday 4 January 2019 to earn the same amount.

The £3.9 million figure was calculated by the CIPD and the High Pay Centre in their 2018 analysis of top pay and it marks an 11% increase on the £3.5 million figure reported in their 2017 analysis. The pay increase means that FTSE 100 CEOs, working an average 12-hour day, will only need to work for 29 hours in 2019 to earn the average worker’s annual salary, two hours fewer than in 2018.

"Overly generous executive pay awards are one of the major factors responsible for low levels of trust in business – particularly in an era when pay has been stagnating across the wider workforce – and therefore represent a grave threat to businesses’ ability to thrive in the long term," said Charles Cotton, Senior Adviser for the report.

"Regulators and policy-makers have recognised the need to better align business practices with the interests of wider society. That is essentially the objective of the reforms to the Corporate Governance Code and corporate reporting requirements introduced this year."