BT said it would pay £1,000 immediately in cash, with £500 to be awarded in shares after three years.
The payout is equivalent to around 5 per cent of the average employee salary.
It comes despite a pay freeze across the company and amid an ongoing dispute with trade unions over BT's overhaul plans.
BT chief executive Philip Jansen said: "BT has made a massive contribution to the national cause over the past year: we've supported the NHS, families and businesses, and avoided the use of redundancy or furlough in our response to the pandemic.
"Our frontline colleagues and key workers have been true heroes, keeping everyone connected in this most difficult time.
"BT has delivered for our customers through the dedication of all our people, but inevitably the pandemic hit our financial performance, like that of most companies.
"In this context, we have to prioritise and I am determined that we will do everything in our power to reward our frontline colleagues."
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