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Asda staff take home £3,000 payout

image captionThe record bonus was plumped up by the rising share price of US parent company Wal-Mart

Some 19,000 Asda staff will receive record payouts averaging £3,240 under parent company Wal-Mart's Sharesave scheme, the supermarket chain has said.

The scheme allows staff to set aside between £50 and £250 a month over three years, in return for a share bonus.

The payouts earned by staff this year vary from £3,000 to more than £15,500, depending on how much staff put aside.

The windfalls have been plumped up by Wal-Mart's rising share price and are worth about 170% of the amount saved.

The share scheme allows staff to buy Wal-Mart shares at a 20% discount to their 2010 price. Since 2010, the US parent company's market valuation has risen by about 40%.

Slightly more than 10% of Asda's 180,000-strong staff chose to participate in the scheme.

They can choose to sell their shares immediately, or retain some or all of them. They also received a small tax-free cash bonus.

The total £61.7m payout adds to the total £650m received by Asda workers since the scheme's inauguration in 1982.

Since Asda was taken over by the US retailing giant in 1999, the scheme has been subsumed into the parent company, and Asda employees have been awarded with shares in Wal-Mart.

"This record bonus pot reflects the success we've seen this year, all of which is down to the hard work and commitment of our colleagues across the business," said human resources head Hayley Tatum.

"Giving our colleagues the chance to save each month risk-free is just one of our ways of saying thank you, and a great way to ensure that they reap the rewards of their exceptional efforts."

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