BT staff pick up a £240m payout

About 20,000 staff at telecoms giant BT are celebrating an average tax-free windfall of £8000 a head as an employee Save-As-You-Earn share scheme vested yesterday.

The payout by the Olympic sponsor totals around £240m. Participating employees had to take part in the three-year share-saving scheme, which involved an average investment of £12,000 to generate the windfall.

BT's share price has jumped since the depths of the credit crunch in 2009, helping boost the scheme. Many more BT employees are set to benefit as there is also a five-year share scheme. As many as 50,000 staff in all took part.