Job cuts | Victoria Beckham slashes staff to go 'back to basics'

Victoria Beckham slashes staff to go 'back to basics'
Victoria Beckham slashes staff to go 'back to basics'

Fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has been the subject of several headlines throughout the coronavirus crisis, as she was slammed for choosing to place staff on the Government’s furlough scheme despite her own personal fortune.

Now it seems once again the English singer has been embroiled in headlines as she shared plans to cut staff at her fashion label by nearly a fifth.

Due to the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the retail and fashion sector, this will result in the loss of 20 employees’ jobs, reported The Guardian.

The jobs will come from production roles at Beckham’s dressmaking atelier in London. As consumer demand dwindles and with supply chains under more pressure than ever, the brand plans to cut down the number of options per collection by around 30 to 40%. This will begin with the spring 2021 collection, which Beckham is currently working on.

Speaking about the decision, she said: “It feels very relevant now to take things back to basics. It has fostered great energy and a real sense of creativity amongst the teams.”

A spokesperson for the brand added that the business, up until March, was on track to reach profitability by the end of 2020, however due to the fall in demand it meant that “in line with many other brands, we are now paring down what we do.”

Beckham’s backlash

Earlier this year, Beckham received fierce backlash after she made the decision to furlough 30 staff members, despite having an estimated net worth of £335million. It was suggested that the pop star shouldn’t be allowed to use taxpayer’s money to support employees’ wages due to her own fortune.

At the time, during ITV’s Good Morning Britain, presenter Piers Morgan, said: “Sorry, this furlough scheme was not for primadonna multi-millionaires like you two. Running a famed vanity business that makes no money.”

Two weeks later she reversed the decision.

However, Beckham isn’t the only employer to announce several redundancies. This week department store Selfridges announced plans to cut 450 jobs as sales fall ‘significantly’. Elsewhere, high street retailer Marks & Spencer is set to cull around 950 positions within the business, indicating the damaging effects coronavirus has had within the retail and fashion space.

The redundancy process

As businesses continue to be hit hard across the UK, the number of redundancies is set to increase. However, Kelly Feehan, Service Director at CABA, the wellbeing charity, has pointed out that there are several legalities employers must observe before going down this route, as failure to do so could lead to claims for unfair dismissal.

Feehan outlined these points: “The redundancy process should generally include:

  • Identifying a reasonable ‘pool for selection’, i.e. the group of employees from which the employees selected for redundancy will be chosen.

  • Adopting objective and non-discriminatory selection criteria where the pool involves two or more employees and applying them fairly to those within this pool.

  • Warning and consulting employees about the potential redundancy situation via a meaningful two-way conversation.

  • Seeking a view from the union (if there is one).

  • Informing and consulting employee representatives in cases of collective redundancy.

  • Considering alternative employment or training for future employment for those employees whose roles are redundant.

  • Giving reasonable paid time off to look for work.

  • Calculation of redundancy pay.

  • Accrued but untaken holiday pay.

  • Right to appeal any decision to dismiss.”

Following these key rules will ensure that employers and HR are managing redundancies in the best possible way, while reducing the stressfulness of the situation for everyone involved.

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