The majority of the reports originate from Apple retail staff in the UK, with a couple of other reports claiming similar incidents in other parts of the world including the US and Canada, reports MacRumors.
According to MacRumors, in a particular UK store, all Apple retail staff with under six months of service has been let go, including a group who had just completed their training and were hired less than a month ago.
A separate report claimed that three different training groups have all been laid off in the past week, with all the staff still in their probationary period.
The cutbacks seem strange given Apple’s recent earnings going from strength to strength. Apple also recently received criticism from The New York Times for paying its retail staff low salaries, despite stressful working conditions and long shifts with no breaks.
UPDATE: Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett, who took on the role in April this year, has denied the reports of cutting staff numbers, saying the incident had occurred due to a mistake with staffing levels.
According to a report from NASDAQ, Browett told employees that the company “had been trying a new staffing formula for its retail stores, leading some employees to see their hourly shifts cut and retail locations to be understaffed. This happened for a few weeks before the company decided to revert to its older system, hoping to rectify the problem.”
According to two sources speaking to NASDAQ, Browett reportedly told his leadership teams to inform employees, “We messed up.”
Apple has since confirmed the staffing changes. “Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, an.
“Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”