Ed Sheeran is refusing to furlough bar staff or take government money during COVID-19 shutdown

Luigi Rizzo/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images“Shape of You” singer Ed Sheeran is looking out for his employees and making sure they stay on payroll through the COVID-19 pandemic.  On top of that, he’s also refusing any government-issued stimulus money to do it.

British paper The Sun reports that the 29-year-old, who owns the Bertie Blossoms pub in Notting Hill that closed in March due to the pandemic, hasn’t furloughed a single staff member.

His co-manager Stuart Camp confirmed to The Sun, “The business, co-owned by Ed Sheeran and Stuart Camp, is not, and will not, be accessing any Government scheme of any kind, including furloughing, grants, loans and so on.”

Sheeran, who is worth an estimated $211 million dollars USD, has drawn sharp comparisons to Victoria Beckham in the face of COVID-19.  While the “Perfect” singer has been lauded for his efforts, Beckham has been widely criticized for how she handled the pandemic.

Earlier this year, the former Spice Girl, who is worth a considerable $415 million USD, furloughed about 30 employees from her long-struggling fashion label.  She also petitioned to have British taxpayers pay 80 percent of her employee’s wages.

The news was swiftly decried by politicians, business owners and celebrities like Piers Morgan — who launched a scathing attack after she introduced Sir Elton John during the One World: At Home Together concert that raised money for the World Health Organization and healthcare workers.

“If you’re going to go on national TV and say the NHS really means something to you, then why don’t you dip in your own pockets, rather than the taxpayer pockets?,” he fumed on Good Morning Britain, adding, “Sorry, this furlough scheme was not for primadonna multi-millionaires like you.”

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