Barrhead Travel founder Bill Munro has said he could take further legal action after an employment tribunal ruled he was unfairly dismissed from the company he set-up.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Munro said he was “delighted” with the outcome but said the experience had been a “harrowing, emotional and stressful time”.

Munro, who founded the travel agency in 1975, took Barrhead to an employment tribunal after he was made redundant from his advisory role he was given as part of US firm Travel Leaders’ £36 million takeover of the agency in 2018.

Munro said: “This has been a harrowing, emotional and stressful time.
“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?

“But I am a strong and determined person and was never going to lie down.

“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.

 More: Bill Munro ‘unfairly dismissed’ by Barrhead Travel

“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.

“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.

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

“I also feel for the staff who were with me over many years, some of whom have left their jobs and I feel a sense of responsibility.

“Richard Branson told me that if you’re in business just to create money you won’t – there must be other reasons. He is absolutely correct.

“I shall take some time to reflect as I consider the challenges which lie ahead. Despite my years, I remain young in mind and spirit. And much more remains to be said and done.

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

Munro received £9 million from the Travel Leaders takeover deal and was being paid £67 an hour on a zero-hours contract for an ‘ambassadorial’ role before his dismissal.

A tribunal in Glasgow in November heard Munro refused to sign a new contract which he claimed was because it did not factor in his 42 years continual service.

Travel Leaders’ boss Ninan Chacko said he had “no intention” to sack Munro, but was forced to after Munro “threw [the contract] back in their face”.

Munro had argued he was unfairly sidelined from the business, but Travel Leaders said Munro would not let go of management duties and believed himself “utterly indispensable” to Barrhead.

The tribunal had heard Munro began claiming for hours in excess of what was expected, and that Travel Leaders took issue with what he was claiming for and accused him of “double dipping”.

In his ruling issued on Wednesday, Judge Wiseman said: “I decided the offer of alternative employment on unreasonable terms and the flawed appeal process rendered the dismissal of the claimant unfair.”

The report also stated that Munro had been offered “numerous offers of employment” but “had to refuse these because he is subject to restrictive covenants”.

More: Final submissions made in Bill Munro employment tribunal

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