Leading Australian retailer, Woolworths, has announced it intends to reward its employees for their commitment over the pandemic by giving them over A$50m in company shares.

More than 100,000 full-time and part-time staff in Australia and New Zealand will be given up to A$750 worth of Woolworths shares each. Full-time workers will receive the full A$750, while part-time staff will receive a pro-rata amount based on the number of hours they work.

Full-time and part-time employees will also receive a A$250 Woolworths gift card, and casual employees who joined before March 1 will receive a A$100 gift card.

AFR reports casual hired during the pandemic won’t receive any direct rewards but will be retain their 10 per cent staff discount until December, regardless of their employment with the company.

In order to be eligible, all staff must have been employed prior to March 1 and must not have already participated in the company’s short-term incentives scheme.

As the coronavirus escalated throughout March and April, Australians rushed into stores to buy up supplies, leading to country-wide shortages of toilet paper, hand sanitiser, pasta and rice, putting pressures on checkout staff and store managers.

'From protests in Hong Kong, droughts and bushfires in Australia to the devastating volcanic activity in New Zealand and finally Covid-19, we have pulled together as a team to support each other, our customers and the communities in which we live and operate,' said Woolworths chief executive, Brad Banducci.

'We could think of no better way to thank and recognise our team than by making them shareholders in our group.”