B&M has agreed to pay its staff an extra week's wages in recognition of hard work over Christmas during the 'exceptional challenges of the pandemic'.

The discount big brand retailer had been in talks with shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw before agreeing the bonus.

The union said staff have continued to work professionally and diligently in public facing roles despite a 'deep worry' about catching the coronavirus.

Around 30,000 workers are set to benefit thanks to soaring Christmas sales as stores benefitted from their 'essential retail' status.

Dave Gill, Usdaw national officer, said: “It’s been a tough time for retail staff, so we are pleased to have secured this bonus for our members in B&M.

"They are providing an essential service, that we all rely on, and they deserve our support, respect and appreciation. So we very much welcome B&M’s recognition of the work their staff are doing in these difficult times.

“We continue to call on the company to revisit the support provided for extremely vulnerable colleagues and are always working to improve health and safety."

Usdaw also wants B&M staff and teams from other retailers to be bumped up the queue when it comes to the vaccine due to the risks they face doing their job.

"Retail staff are dealing with the public every day and are not only suffering increased abuse, but are also deeply worried about catching Covid-19.

“That must be taken into account by the government when assessing risk levels and priority for vaccines and testing. So we are calling on the government to ensure that retail workers are given priority, because they provide the essential service of keeping the nation fed.

“Usdaw also urges the shopping public to follow the necessary hygiene and social distancing rules to help make shops as safe as possible for customers and staff alike.”

The founder and chief executive of B&M Bargains has also handed himself a massive payout of £30 million due to the company's successful Christmas period amid the crisis.

Founder and chief executive Simon Arora revealed a new special dividend of 20p-a-share would be handed out to shareholders.

The boss and his family are the biggest shareholders in the business, meaning he will pay himself £30 million, in addition to a £44 million dividend payout revealed two months ago.