British workers see what their bosses earn

A TUC website launched on Saturday gives most UK employees the freedom to uncover information about their company including staff pay and pensions compared to directors', profits and losses, shareholder details and arrangements for staff representation.

The 'your company' search at workSMART.org.uk lets visitors access information that would usually be buried in annual reports on 7,000 UK companies employing millions of staff. Basic information is available on every UK company.

Employees can use the site to compare their own pay with company directors. When they enter what they were earning five years ago the site tells them how much they would be being paid if their earnings had increased at the same rate as that of their top bosses. Staff can also compare their own pay to others doing the same job at different firms.

Rod Armitage, Head of Company Affairs with the Confederation of British Industry, suggests the development will not be a shock to businesses.

"Companies will be entirely comfortable with this website providing it accurately reflects the salary and other details already available in their public documents," he said. "Keeping staff well informed about the company's performance, pay structure and staff representation is already high on the agenda for firms."

"In most cases, however, union members will be entirely unaware of details such as pay, benefits and length of contract for union executives," he added.