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Asos Boss Earns £1,000 Per Hour

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Union reveal it would take staff in Barnsley distribution centre 214 years to earn Nick Beighton’s 12 month pay packet.

ASOS Chief Executive Nick Beighton will earn the yearly salary of his distribution centre staff in just the first two working days of 2017.

January 4 has been dubbed Fat Cat Day by the High Pay Centre as it is the day the average yearly pay of UK workers has already been outstripped by the average chief executive’s earnings for that year. [1]

But the fast fashion boss will beat even that milestone – taking home his warehouse workers’ annual £14,000 salary by around 11am on his second working day of the year.

Nick Beighton makes almost £3million a year, once his bonus, pension and gigantic share award are included. [2]

This works out as staggering earnings of £1,022 an hour [3] – more than 137 TIMES the £7.45 [4] earned by staff in the Grimethorpe warehouse, near Barnsley.

Investigations into the Grimethorpe site, which is at the heart of the ASOS’ fast fashion empire, highlight excessive surveillance of workers, extensive security checks each day (including to and from the toilet) and the use of ‘flex contracts’ that leave staff unsure how many hours they will work each week. [5]

According to reports, up to 50 per cent of the workers are employed by Transline – the same employment agency used by Sports Direct.

Neil Derrick, GMB Regional Secretary, said:

“There is nothing intrinsically wrong with chief executives earning a good salary commensurate with their high level of responsibility and skills."

“However when your lowest paid workers are treated poorly it smacks of unfairness and double standards.

“Through his incentive scheme, Nick Beighton can more than treble his salary by meeting various targets his board set for him.

“This is on top of his 104% salary bonus.

“Meanwhile workers in Barnsley are given targets so draconian they are making themselves physically and mentally ill trying to meet them – with absolutely no prospect of a bonus whatsoever.

“With Nick Beighton paying himself so handsomely it’s no wonder growing numbers of shareholders revolted against his recent pay package.[6]

“Denying workers a union voice and the chance to better their own conditions is outrageous and unethical.”

The High Pay Centre publically criticised the long term incentive scheme many chief executives – including Nick Beighton - receive. [7]

Stefan Stern, Director of the High Pay Centre, said:

"So-called 'long term incentive plans' are not long term, and provide perverse incentives.

“The High Pay Centre has long argued that they should be abolished - they are a flawed mechanism. 

“Linking the largest element of executive pay to very simple performance measures, which do not accurately reflect the complex role of leading a large company, is clearly a mistake.

“By all means reward people for good performance, but do it in a way that is fair and can be enjoyed by all employees.

"Mega rewards just for the top are clearly divisive, unfair, and bad for business."


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at


[2] Nick Beighton was awarded 36,194 shares in their financial year up to Aug 31 2016 [see page 54 of annual report] as part of performance related Long Term Incentive Plan. The ASOS sell price as of 20/12/2016 is 4,821p. £48.21 x 36,194 = £1,737,312 This is in addition to earnings including pay, pension and bonus and benefits of £1,199,520 [see page 53 of annual report] His total earnings package for the year is £2,944,432.

[3] Assuming Nick Beighton works 12 hours a day, five days a week, with four weeks unpaid holiday 12 hour days x 5 day weeks = 60 hours 48 weeks x 60 hours = 2,880 hours per year £2,944,432/2,880 = £1,022 per hour

[4] [5]



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