In brief: Apple, one of the firms that managed to largely avoid the negative economic impact of the ongoing global health crisis, is planning to give bonuses reaching $1,000 to its retail employees who were working during the pandemic.
Employees at the tech company’s retail locations who were hired before March 31, 2021, will receive a bonus of $1,000, according to Bloomberg. Those who joined after that date are eligible for a $500 bonus. New staff for the upcoming shopping season, meanwhile, will get $200.
When the coronavirus began at the start of 2020, like the majority of stores, Apple stores were closed on numerous occasions, while spending shifted more towards online shopping. Thousands of workers migrated to online sales positions -- with this in mind, it’s not only Apple Store employees who are entitled to the bonuses; AppleCare and online sales workers will share from the bonus windfall as well.
Apple is not in the habit of giving bonuses to its retail employees. The last bonus was during 2018 when Apple distributed $2,500 in restricted stock units to a large portion of its workforce, including those that worked at its retail stores. The bonus was granted after tax changes authorized Apple to retrieve money from its huge offshore cash reserves -- nearly $200 billion -- at a reduced cost.
The financial reward Apple is giving its retail workforce this time around comes amid a record-breaking year for the company. Demand for Apple products is only increasing, as evidenced by earnings reports this year; in the fiscal second quarter ending March 27, 2021, it reported record revenue of $89.6 billion. The following quarter ending in June, it made $81.4 billion, a 36 percent increase from 2020.
Labor shortages have plagued multiple industries due to the pandemic, which may have factored into Apple’s arrangement for the bonuses. It’s going to need all the manpower it can retain, especially with the upcoming launch of the iPhone 13.