THE founder of Barrhead Travel was wrongfully dismissed by the company who bought the firm for £36million in 2018, his lawyer claimed.

Bill Munro, who spent four decades building the company, had negotiated a deal to keep working for new owners Travel Leaders Group (TLG).

But the US firm made him redundant a few months later, claiming the post of chairman for Barrhead Travel was no longer needed.

However, Stephen Miller, representing Mr Munro, said this was not the role he had been employed to fulfil and therefore the dismissal was unfair.

Summing up on the concluding day of evidence last week, Mr Miller also argued the outcome had been predetermined, with the company “going through the motions” of a consultation process.

Mr Munro had been given an ambassadorial role after the sale, as it was accepted the firm didn’t need a chairman. “But that was the same at the time of the sale in February 2018 as it was in June,” Mr Miller said. 

READ MORE: Barrhead Travel faces unfair dismissal claim from founder and former owner Bill Munro

Executives, unfamiliar with UK employment law, had also failed to consider suitable alternative employment for him, Mr Miller said.

While TLG had offered him a contract in his new role, it had been reasonable for Mr Munro to decline to sign because the company refused to preserve continuity of service – which amounted to a “lack of protection of employment,” he said.

Meanwhile, evidence from TLG said president John O’Hara had “changed his mind” about Mr Munro’s situation in the course of considering his appeal against dismissal after conferring with his chief executive “seemingly unaware that it was unfair to do so,” Mr Miller said.

Alice Stobart, solicitor for TLG, said the firm had acted in good faith and the role had genuinely become redundant. Despite Mr Munro’s failure to comply with TLG’s requirements, and repeated concerns about his unwanted interference in Barrhead Travel, he had been offered a potentially lucrative alternative contract, she said. 

Mr Munro is seeking compensation for lost earnings and reinstatement in his job. However, due to bad feeling over his departure and the way he had disrupted the work of staff at Barrhead Travel, it would not be possible for him to return, Ms Stobart said.

A judgement is expected to be issued next month.