The government has outlined its plans to make companies justify high levels of executive pay.
Among the measures under consideration are pay ratios, which would show the gap in earnings between the chief executive and an average employee.
Shareholders would also be handed more powers to vote against bosses' pay, but the government will not force companies to put workers on boards.
Theresa May has made tackling corporate excess one of her priorities in office.
Chief executives of FTSE 100 firms have a median salary of about £4m, which is 140 times that of the average worker, according to the High Pay Centre.
"There may be some circumstances where that is defensible, but it should be for the boards of companies and executives to justify that," Business Secretary Greg Clark told the BBC.
He said the UK was not alone in targeting pay ratios, with the US set to report them at the start of next year.