British fashion designer Stella McCartney recently made a shocking announcement and revealed to the media that she has decided to furlough hundreds of people working for her namesake popular high-end fashion brand as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to severely affect the fashion industry. McCartney has made it absolutely clear that the brand's employees who haven't been furloughed are going to have to take a significant pay cut to keep the day-to-day operations running.

By furloughing numbers of her employees, McCartney has joined the likes of famous designers like Victoria Beckham, who are planning on making use of the taxpayers' money, granted to them under the UK government's job retention policy that provides financial support to organizations so that they can keep paying their employees.

As per recent news reports, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak had recently announced a rescue package that allows companies to claim around 80 percent of salaries up to an amount of about $2,708.

Impact of the Coronavirus on Stella McCartney's brand

According to a recent report that was published by The Sun, out of the hundreds of thousands of people that are employed by McCartney's brand across the world, approximately 1,400 have currently been put on a leave of absence. Most of its stores have been forced to temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The brand operates stores in all of the world's major cities like New York, London, Hong Kong, to name a few.

The abrupt decision that was taken by the 48-year-old English fashion designer has left several of her loyal and hardworking employees quite disheartened.

One of her staffers says that what McCartney has done, amid these uncertain times, is absolutely wrong and unacceptable, both morally as well as socially. The employee initially believed that she would stand by her workers during difficult times like these, however, she simply abandoned them.

McCartney has also been highly criticized, by many of her fashion industry peers, because she has reportedly said to her employees that they are not going to get any additional amount of money from her personal finances.

This issue is quite absurd as she is the sole owner of a globally recognized fashion brand that generates a massive turnover of more than $615 million annually. Moreover, she has a personal net worth that amounts to over $75 million.

Stella McCartney's clientele generally includes Hollywood's A-List Celebrities such as former royal and ‘Suits’ actress Meghan Markle, who once wore a gorgeous gown that was designed by Stella specifically for the occasion of Markle's royal wedding reception.

But this wasn't the only time when Markle wore something that was created by her label as she was once captured by the paparazzi sporting an excellent $1,856 coat from Stella's label at Remembrance Sunday.

Problems faced by Victoria Beckham's brand due to the pandemic

Unfortunately, McCartney's brand isn't the only high-end fashion label in the United Kingdom to suffer from the drastic economic fallout of the deadly COVID-19 Coronavirus. The fashion designer wife of footballer David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, has also taken quite strict measures to keep her fashion brand alive and running. Beckham has furloughed around 25 of her employees, which also includes a senior-level executive and the brand's chief marketing officer.

The Sun reports that Beckham was very hesitant in furloughing any of her staffers, however, in order to maintain the profitability of the firm amidst the pandemic, this strategy had to be adopted.

The Sun further reports that Victoria Beckham has continuously been in touch with all of her employees and is also regularly updating them on what is currently going on with her brand. She has even decided to give up her own salary for the foreseeable future so that she can grant her staffers enhanced furlough packages to make sure that none of them goes through a financially difficult period. Even though her passion lies in the fashion side of things, Beckham will mostly be directing her energy towards the beauty part of her label from now on.

Beckham's decision of using the taxpayers' money to fund her fashion label has been greatly denounced by the controversial British television broadcaster, Piers Morgan. Morgan argues that she doesn't need the help of the government and is using them to bail her out of the monetary pain caused to her company so that she doesn't have to personally pay from her family's money. The Beckham family's net worth is about $444 million.