As I've blogged before, there's a consensus amongst left-leaning corporate governance types that the bit in the UK Corporate Governance Code that says that companies should be "sensitive to pay and conditions" when setting executive pay is widely ignored. Boilerplate reporting is commonplace, and it has been this way since the Code first had this clause. And most asset managers have zero interest in this issue so non-compliance has gone without challenge.
But in recent years the disclosure requirements on companies have become more than voluntary. Companies now have to show how they have taken account of employees' views, so this is a legal reporting requirement. And that, in turn, ought to mean that if companies don't do what they are asked they can be held accountable.
So hats off to the High Pay Centre for organising a letter to the Financial Reporting Review Panel to test the water. They have also come up with a couple of real-life examples where companies have skewed the sample of employees they look at.
The HPC's blog on this is here.
Let's see what happens.