More than 45,000 Tesco staff across the UK are to share in a £110m payout from the retailer’s save as you earn scheme.

Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy described the payout as a “tribute to the hard work of our staff who continue to share in the success of the business”.

Checkout assistants, online shopping pickers, delivery drivers and managers were among those who have received share windfalls, with top investors netting nearly £30,000.

Tesco said staff had been saving between £5 and £250-a-month into the three or five year schemes. And that 67% of staff were choosing to reinvest their shares and leave them to mature as a long-term investment.