23 Aug 2019

Director's workload increasing, pay isn't

7:28 am on 23 August 2019

Fees for company directors are not keeping pace with their rising workload, according to a new survey.

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Photo: 123RF

The EY and the Institute of Directors report on the pay of more than 2000 directors - from big commercial to community-based groups - shows they are having to cope with rising regulatory demands, ever increasing meetings and hours worked.

It found the workload of non-executive directors rose 10 percent, while their fees rose 3 percent.

EY New Zealand partner Una Diver said directors in all types of organisations were under pressure to meet increasing demand.

"All stakeholders - management, employees, shareholders, government and consumers are asking more from organisations, placing a further weight on boards to rise to the challenge of meeting their expectations," she said.

Institute chief executive Kirsten Patterson said most directors were not complaining about the level of fees they earned, and some, such as those involved in the underperforming construction industry, had accepted a 5 percent drop in the fees they were paid.

However, she said directors should be paid a competitive and reasonable remuneration.

"In particular, so that skilled and experienced people are attracted into governance and are properly rewarded for the work they do," she said.

The annual survey also found gender diversity on boards had risen only slightly to 22.5 percent, from 20 percent the year earlier.

Women made up a third of the directors in the top 10 listed companies, but just 17 percent of the smaller firms.