Barrhead Travel founder Bill Munro unfairly dismissed

Bill Munro

Mr Munro said he had been “vindicated” by the tribunal ruling

By Democrat reporter

BBC Scotland is reporting that the hugely popular and successful Barrhead Travel founder Bill Munro was unfairly dismissed by the company in 2018, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Mr Munro had been given an advisory role in the holiday firm after it was bought by US company Travel Leaders Group (TLG) earlier that year.

But he was made redundant in July 2018 after relations with his new employers soured.

The tribunal in Glasgow also ruled that Mr Munro, who founded the firm in 1975, would not receive any compensation.

He was awarded £2,754, to cover part of his notice period which had not been paid.

The tribunal heard that following the takeover, TLG did not want Mr Munro to involve himself in Barrhead Travel. Instead they employed him on a zero-hours contract to undertake “special projects” in the wider group.

However the company said he continued to “troubleshoot” in the Barrhead business, attend the office and “undertake tasks that he felt needed done”.

In her ruling, Judge Lucy Wiseman said: “I considered it clear from the claimant’s evidence that he did not want to relinquish involvement with Barrhead Travel.

“I say this because it was clear that even in relation to the special projects, the claimant wanted to work in and from a Barrhead Travel office and to involve staff and resources as he saw fit, at various stages of those projects.”

In May of 2018, Mr Munro was offered a new contract by the parent TLG group, with no clause on continuous employment.

Judge Wiseman said: “The claimant refused the TLG contract because he realised that if he accepted it, it would result in a separation from Barrhead Travel and this was something the claimant could not contemplate.”

Mr Munro’s employment ended on 17 July and he received a redundancy payment of more than £15,000.

The judge found his dismissal to be unfair on the grounds that the offer of alternative employment was on “unreasonable terms” and that the appeal process over his dismissal was “flawed”.

She added: “I was satisfied the claimant’s conduct (by refusing to cease his involvement with Barrhead Travel and by being unwilling to work to the terms of the amended contract) contributed to his dismissal by 100%.”

‘Harrowing time’

In a statement after the ruling, Mr Munro said it had been “a harrowing, emotional and stressful time”.

He said: “I am delighted the tribunal has vindicated me.

“It has been a traumatic episode at a time when I should be enjoying the rewards of my working life.

“This was never about the money – it was about much more than that, my reputation and my standing in the industry.”

He added: “It may be the case that there will be further legal action in the future.”

Barrhead Travel declined to comment about the case.

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