Staff at Asda are to share a £17m ‘Festive Thank You’ this Christmas.

The reward package includes a £20 Asda gift voucher, a free festive meal and £5 towards a Christmas party. It will be available to each of Asda’s 175,000 staff, including the 3,500 who recently joined the business as part of the Netto acquisition.

Asda employees will also get a 20% discount – double their normal 10% saving – on a number of products on two special “double discount” days. The items include DVDs, video games, beers, wines and spirits.

This year Asda staff also pocketed £26.9m in February, following better than expected sales, as well as a £49m pay out when a three-year Walmart Sharesave scheme matured in June.

Hayley Tatum, executive people director at Asda, said: “At a time when we are all having to tighten our belts to cope with the increasing cost of living, we’re proud to help by giving a proper thank you to our colleagues for their efforts.

“Our in-store and depot colleagues are without doubt the heroes of our business – working exceptionally hard, week-in week-out, to deliver the very best for our 18 million customers.”

Asda bosses will also be rewarding colleagues through a ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ programme.

“Each day, for the two weeks running up to Christmas, Asda will be thanking colleagues who have delivered exceptional customer service with an additional £10 gift voucher,” said Tatum.