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Twenty STA Travel Scottish workers win compensation after sackings

A group of Scottish employees who were sacked without consultation when the UK arm of STA Travel folded have won compensation at an employment tribunal.

The youth travel specialist was among the casualties of the pandemic after Covid brought the travel industry to an almost complete standstill.

However, an employment tribunal, representing 20 staff, ruled that there were “no special circumstances” which permitted it to renege on its legal responsibilities by dismissing staff without consultation, The Herald newspaper reported.

The company was ordered to pay employees a protective award of 90 days pay.

STA Travel went into administration in August 2020 “with a lot of cash” tied up as collateral for bonds and with “tens of millions tied up with Iata,” according to former finance director and group treasurer Anthony Mercer.

The failure came after the firm’s Swiss parent company filed for insolvency and appointed administrators.

STA Travel employed almost 500 staff across 49 agency outlets in the UK and its head office in London.

The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 obligates employers to carry out a consultation if job losses are proposed at least 90 days before the first dismissal.

Firms are required to consult a recognised trade union or appoint an employee representative to ensure their rights are protected.

However, in this case there was no recognised trade union in the workplace or consultation with staff.

Under those circumstances staff are legally entitled to a protective award.

A number of staff in Scotland took their cases to a tribunal which found in their favour, according to The Herald.

Scottish employment tribunal judge Robert Gall said: “There was no consultation whatsoever.

“On the basis of the evidence I heard, no special circumstances existed justifying departure from the provisions of the 1992 Act and the obligation of consultation imposed.”

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