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Woolworths is giving shares to 100,000 workers to 'thank and recognise' them for working through the bushfires and coronavirus pandemic

Sharon Masige
  • Woolworths is giving more than 100,000 workers shares in the company as a 'thank you' for making it through a turbulent period marked by bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Eligible full time workers will get up to $750 of Woolworths shares.
  • This share offer means Woolworths will have the largest number of shareholder team members in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Woolworths is rewarding its workers for their performance through the bushfires and coronavirus pandemic by giving them shares in the company.

The supermarket giant said more than 100,000 employees across Australia and New Zealand will get a share in Woolworths Group in recognition of their "extraordinary efforts and contributions during a year of unprecedented challenges". This share offer means Woolworths Group will have most shareholder team members in Australia and New Zealand.

The shares will be given to workers who were employed before March 1 and aren't already part of the company's short-term incentive schemes (STI). Eligible full-time workers will get up to $750 of Woolworths Group shares – which they can either keep or sell – while part-timers get shares on a pro-rata basis.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said in a statement the company thought the share program was the best way to reward workers.

"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," he said.

"This has taken an enormous amount of hard work and dedication and through our collective commitment we have indeed lived our purpose of creating better experiences together for a better tomorrow. We could think of no better way to thank and recognise our team than by making them shareholders in our Group."

Woolworths first mentioned its plans to recognise its staff during in April during its FY20 third quarter sales announcement. Banducci added that the shares are a way for the company to acknowledge the role the workers will continue to play going forward.

"I’d like to thank our team once again for their continued support during these extraordinary times," Banducci added.

There are also some extra perks for Woolies employees. All Australian full and part-time workers who joined before March 1 (and aren't involved in the STI scheme) also get $250 in Team Member PlusCard credits, which they can spend like gift card at Woolworths Supermarkets, Metro, BIG W and BWS. Casual workers, on the other hand, get $100.