SCOTLAND’S largest hospitality group this week admitted breaching employees rights after it refused staff at a Glasgow cafe access to trade union representation. 

The concession emerged as part of an employment tribunal in which it is alleged that G1 Group, run by millionaire entrepreneur Stefan King, unlawfully dismissed six members of staff.

Lawyers representing the company have conceded that their client acted in breach of its employees’ statutory rights. Bosses at G1 refused staff the right to be represented after they were sacked from the Grosvenor Café in September 2017.

The case is the first time that the G1 Group have been taken to full tribunal for unfair dismissal, with trade unions calling this a landmark legal case. 

Michael Briggs, of Thompsons Solicitors, representing the claimants, also argued the workers were denied contractual notice pay when they were sacked last year.
He said: “The claimants have had their day in court. 

“While we are delighted that common sense prevailed in relation to the S.10 concession, the parts of the claims that remain in dispute are now in the hands of a very capable and experienced tribunal. 

“We look forward to their findings and are confident that just decisions will be made. Further comment would not be appropriate at this time.”

The syndicate of six former staff claim that proper disciplinary processes were not followed. 

In the process, they were refused the right to be represented by Unite Hospitality official Bryan Simpson on the grounds that he represented a “significant threat to the safety of senior management”.

G1 previously alleged staff abused their staff discount over a period of four months, behaviour that the group claimed would amount to gross misconduct. 

However, workers claimed that the amount of money saved ranged from less than £2 to £30. In the year prior to the firings, the G1 Group turned over more than £70 million in revenue. 

Unite Hospitality’s Bryan Simpson said: “More than 10 months after they were sacked en masse without representation or notice pay, our members are finally receiving the justice they deserve. At the very highest levels of the organisation, the G1 Group sought to obstruct Unite from supporting its members at the Grosvenor. 

“They have admitted that they ignored mitigating circumstances and were under strict instruction to sack the staff regardless.”

A decision on the case may not be reached for a number of weeks, but evidence concluded at the tribunal courts on Bothwell Street earlier this week. 

The hospitality group have been represented by advocate David Hay throughout the proceedings.

G1 were approached for comment but were not available.