Barrhead Travel founder Bill Munro says he feels “vindicated” after a tribunal found him to have been unfairly dismissed by the Scottish travel giant following its acquisition by US firm Travel Leaders Group.
Munro launched Barrhead in 1975. He was dismissed nine months after the buyout in November 2018. The tribunal took place a year later in Glasgow, with a judgment released last week.
Munro had been hoping to be reinstated as Barrhead chairman, insisting during the tribunal that he “was not here for the money”, but it was ruled “not practicable” under the Employment Rights Act “to order reinstatement or re-engagement”.
Munro will not be awarded compensation, but will be paid £2,754 “in respect of the balance of the payment of notice” on top of a redundancy package of £15,240 which has already been transferred. TLG paid £36 million to purchase Barrhead.
Following the tribunal’s judgment Munro told TTG he had felt “humiliated”. The tribunal heard he had been escorted from a Barrhead branch by security when he visited to use a photocopier.
The tribunal heard it had been agreed that Munro would be paid £67 per hour on a zero-hours basis for an “ambassadorial” role, but bosses at TLG were surprised by how many hours he claimed.
“This has been a harrowing, emotional and stressful time,” Munro said after the judgment was released.
“I have had to endure the ordeal of having my life’s achievements being traduced in public.
“I worked hard for decades to build my company and reputation. Is it any wonder I came close to tears as I gave evidence?
“In my career I have been awarded three lifetime achievement awards – two in the UK travel industry and a third from the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. These mean the world to me.
“And my reputation was brought into question… I am delighted the tribunal has vindicated me.”
Munro continued: “This has been a traumatic episode at a time when I should be enjoying the rewards of my working life.
“But the outcome has made it worthwhile and I am grateful to the tribunal, to my solicitor, Stephen Miller, and my many friends and ex-colleagues for their support.”
Munro added he "felt for the staff who were with me over many years”.
Regarding his next steps, Munro said he would take some time to reflect and “consider the challenges which lie ahead”.
“Much more remains to be said and done,” he said. “It may be the case that there will be further legal action in the future.”
Barrhead Travel said it would not comment on matters regarding the tribunal.