Firing staff: Burberry – Made in the UK?
Burberry is a classic British brand but where do they make their clothes and why? Read the text and find out then check the phrases. They are about firing staff.
Burberry is known for being a ‘luxury brand’. It is also popular because it is British. In fact, it uses lot of English images in its advertising. Burberry even uses ‘made in Britain’. This is why it makes a great deal of money. An exact profit of £366m to be precise.
So, Burberry sells traditional British clothes that are made in Britain by British people. Not really. 5 years ago Burberry closed a 70 year old factory in the UK and fired all 300 employees.
In 2009 Burberry closed another UK factory and 170 people were made redundant. Followed by their last 2 where 120 employees were let go.
After they sacked all these people they moved production to somewhere outside of England. Yes, somewhere where they could pay lower salaries and get cheaper material and that place was China. Their employment laws are different to the UK so they have more freedom to hire and axe staff when they want.
The company said that it was the right decision and had no regrets, even though they dismissed around 600 members of staff in the UK.
Burberry now saves more money because their wages and production costs are cheaper. A Burberry shirt can cost about £55 but only costs £4 to make. That’s a £51 profit and is why Burberry’s profits can increase by at least £2m. However, they sell some on their website for £150. That’s an incredible £146 difference.
Another clothing company called Mulberry has layed off all its Chinese workers and moved back to the UK. It wants to keep a British image. They decided to give all their Chinese employees their marching orders and open a factory in the UK with local employees.
Both companies want to become more successful and they think that looking more British sells clothes. It may be true that people abroad like classic British clothes. However, would you buy something from a company who gave hundreds of staff the elbow to save a bit of money? (Leave a comment below about this)
Firing staff phrases
All these phrases are the same in meaning. You can use them to say when someone’s employment is stopped or terminated.
to fire someone
to let someone go
to sack someone
to dismiss someone
to lay someone off
to give employees their marching orders
to give hundreds of staff the elbow
When you want to explain that someone has been fired because their position is no longer needed use this:
to make someone redundant
This happens when a company is made smaller and the number of staff is reduced. They often receive a large amount of money like a full months pay or even 6 months.