Lord Wolfson, the chief executive of Next, has waived a £2.4m bonus and instead awarded it to the clothing retailer’s staff.
The bonus will be shared by 19,400 full-time and part-time Next staff who have been with the company since June 2010. The staff will receive a bonus equal to 1pc of their salary as part of their July pay.
This means that a shopfloor worker earning £20,000 a year will collect £200.
In an email to staff, Lord Wolfson said the bonus was a “gesture of thanks and appreciation from the company for the hard work and commitment you have given to Next over the past three years and through some very tough times”.
The £2.4m was awarded to Lord Wolfson through a share matching plan, which began in 2010.
However, the Next boss said that a near-doubling of the company’s share price in that time meant the award has “now become more valuable than I could possibly have expected”.
The move by Lord Wolfson, who collected a £4.6m package after waiving the award, could lead to pressure on other chief executives to make similar donations.
Lord Wolfson added: "I remain very grateful for the way in which everyone has helped to navigate our business through this recession.
"The task of growing sales and controlling costs looks set to remain a challenge over the next few years. But if we continue with the hard work, intelligence, initiative and common sense of recent years, then we have every chance of continued success."