Salaries for UK directors rose by 3 per cent in 2004, slightly above inflation, and in line with the rest of the workforce, according to research.
The annual poll of members of the Institute of Directors (IoD), carried out by Croner Reward, also showed that almost two-thirds of directors are now on performance-related pay.
Miles Templeman, director general of the IoD, said the survey belied the fat cat image of boardroom Britain.
“The picture that emerges from our survey is one of hard work and reasonable pay rises,” he said.
Forecasts for pay rises in the coming year are 3.5 per cent, but small companies are forecasting 4 per cent and medium companies only 3 per cent.
The survey also shows that almost half of UK executives work more than a 46 hour week, and a quarter put in more than 55 hours. Around 40 per cent of board members do not take up their full holiday entitlement.
There are wide regional variations among rates of pay for directors. Executives in London earn on average almost 50 per cent more than counterparts in the North East. Directors in Yorkshire, the South West and the East Midlands all receive less than the national average.