Just Pay: A biblical perspective on the ethics of remuneration

A CEO is paid hundreds of times more than the ‘everyday workers’ in their own company. The market seems to allow it, but is it morally right?

This report proposes a biblical framework for exploring remuneration, which has three major components – justice, dignity and reward. Justice is concerned with the fair amount of pay, to ensure families are protected from destitution. Dignity is concerned with the right kind of work and protects the agency of workers. Finally, reward is about working for the right reasons, and leads to the common good. Together, they provide new insight into the ethics of remuneration.


‘Pay and bonuses can be highly emotive. For Christians and those who place a high value on relationships in society, extremes in pay represent fault lines that demand attention. So full marks to Calum Samuelson for a balanced and scriptural review of the issues. He combines rich learning with compelling insights to offer practical considerations for decision-makers.’
Clive Mather, Chair, Church of England Pension Board, and former Chairman, Shell UK Ltd


‘Calum Samuelson has provided a highly creative synthesis in this report, bringing together the worlds of contemporary corporate commerce and incipient biblical economics in a thoughtful and imaginative way. The principles he spells out ought to be at the heart of current thinking on executive pay.’
Richard Higginson, Chair, Faith in Business


‘Executive Pay is a real conundrum. Everyone agrees that the habits we’ve got into no longer feel right, but it’s hard to know where to start in coming up with alternatives. I welcome this report because it goes back to basics, and in doing so offers fresh ways to re-think the whole issue.’
Dr Eve Poole, Third Church Estates Commissioner


‘The Jubilee Centre has provided an interesting and challenging report on the whole issue of pay in an increasingly complex world. Pay is just part of the constant review that a Board of Directors and its CEO needs to reflect on as it seeks to fulfil its wider obligations to shareholders and stakeholders, via the team that delivers its mission. The wise leader is a focussed juggler of many balls, working with well rewarded colleagues, with a clear sense of mission.’
Kenneth M MacKenzie, Chief Executive, Target Fund Managers


‘The Church in the Middle Ages argued for just prices and just wages. Calum Samuelson shows the continuing relevance of the Bible’s teaching about justice, dignity and reward to the questions about appropriate rates of pay which run from top to bottom in our world today.’
David McIlroy, Visiting Professor, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London


This booklet is also available to purchase in hard copy here.