More than 11,000 Sainsbury’s workers are set to share a £26.5m payout.

The windfall is part of the supermarket chain’s Sharesave scheme, which allows staff to buy Sainsbury’s shares.

With the share price of £2.97 when the three-year and five-year schemes matured and were exercised, staff in the scheme saw an average 29% increase on their original savings.

“This is great news for thousands of our colleagues, providing an extra reward for the vital role they play in delivering fantastic service to customers and driving our success,” said Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury’s customer service and colleague director.

There are currently almost 26,000 staff saving between £5 and £250 a month into 63,000 Sainsbury’s Sharesave contracts.