Supermarket chain Aldi has awarded its “amazing” store and distribution staff a 10 per cent bonus in recognition for their efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

The company said it would be paying staff a 10 per cent bonus on hours worked effective from March 9.

It praised them for “working tirelessly throughout this extremely busy time”.

And in a further announcement, Aldi said it was reducing payment terms for more than 1,000 of is suppliers. Those with a turnover of less than £1 million will now be paid immediately, it confirmed.

The chain has introduced a new, dedicated opening time of 9.30am to 10am on Sunday (8.30am to 9am in Scotland) for blue light workers.

It has also restricted the purchase of paper products such as toilet and kitchen roll, along with nappies, to two items per customer to ensure there is enough to go around.

Aldi has stores in Carlisle, Penrith, Cockermouth, Workington, Whitehaven, Barrow and Kendal.

Elsewhere, Aldi said it has made a number of “financial commitments” to groups including Neighbourly – which distributes surplus food and other donations to those in need – the Teenage Cancer Trust and Age UK

Aldi is also among a group of retailers that includes M&S, Lidl, Danone and Coca-Cola that have created a new fund to support community organisations helping those most at risk during the pandemic.

The group has committed almost £500,000 to a fund providing micro-grants to community organisations helping people most affected by the outbreak, including the elderly and those on low incomes.