Coronavirus: Victoria Beckham backtracks on furloughing fashion label staff after outcry

Victoria Beckham has reversed her decision to furlough about 30 staff at her fashion label.

The designer, 46, placed some of her employees on the government’s business scheme to help firms navigate choppy waters during the coronavirus pandemic.

She faced criticism from the public for her application to the scheme, as her combined net worth with husband David is estimated to be £335m, according to The Sunday Times 2019 Rich List.

A spokeswoman for the business has confirmed to Sky News that the decision had been reversed.

In a statement, she said: “Victoria Beckham Ltd has been working hard to protect its people and, while adjusting to the impact of COVID-19 and the government lockdown, our decision to furlough a small number of our staff seemed the most appropriate option in keeping with many other businesses.

“The situation is dynamic, and, with the support of our shareholders, we now believe we can navigate through this crisis without drawing from the government furlough scheme. Our application was made in the best interests of trying to protect our staff, and that is still our absolute focus.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure we can achieve that without using government assistance.”

The employees will return to work on 11 May.

The luxury clothing brand, which launched in 2008, has faced financial difficulty in recent years.

In November, accounts revealed Victoria Beckham Ltd suffered losses of £12.3m in the year to December 2018 after facing a fall in sales.

Ralph Toledano, chairman of the business, said sales of its clothing and accessories stagnated during 2018 after years of growth.

But the performance was in line with shareholder expectations after “cutting costs, focusing on its digital channels and refining the product to more closely reflect Victoria Beckham’s aesthetics and values”, the business said.

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