Plumbers merchant group Wolseley is paying out up to £4.5m in profit-sharing, to make up for low salary increases.
The performance-related profit-share scheme is being made available to 80% of the merchant's 7,000 UK staff. The rest, which includes branch and sales managers, are already on a number of bonus schemes, some of the performance-related.
Neil McCawley, reward and benefits manager, said: "Some employees already get an opportunity to share through their bonus scheme, but 80% of our staff do not. It links into our pay review. Inflation is quite high and times are tight, so how can we reward our employees when we cannot afford to give them more in terms of pay?"
The scheme, called Sharing Success, will make a cash payment based on the profits of each part of the business. So a branch that exceeds its target will see its staff will get a share of the extra profit.
The payments will be made to staff in November 2012, with a total cap of £4.5 million.