Workers at Asda have been handed stocks worth £2m after a share ownership scheme run by the supermarket giant reached maturity.

Around 15,000 Asda staff will receive shares in US parent Wal-Mart, worth a combined £2m.

The payout comes after 19,000 Asda staff received shares totalling £3m in August this year as part of its Colleague Share Ownership plan, which the supermarket has run since 1995.

“At a time when people are strapped for cash, we’re giving thousands of colleagues a well earned bonus,” said ASDA people director David Smith. “Whether it’s to help towards the Christmas shopping or pay off the credit card, the proceeds of these shares will really make a difference in the current climate.”