Hotel boss lost job after Ukrainian refugees' complaints

£120,000-a-year boss of luxury hotel resort lost job after Ukrainian refugees complained about ‘harrowing’ conditions

  • Ian Miller was fired after protests over broken lifts, wi-fi issues – and the fact refugees were served only ‘nuggets and chips’

The boss of a luxury Highland resort was fired after Ukrainian refugees housed there hit out at the ‘harrowing’ conditions they were forced to live in.

Iain Miller lost his £120,000-a-year role following their complaints, including claims Strathspey Hotel was ‘infested with vermin’ and only served ‘nuggets and chips’.

An employment tribunal heard Macdonald Aviemore Resort’s managing director was also blamed for leaving 85 rooms un-serviced while a film crew was staying.

Mr Miller was sacked after senior executive Natalya Macholla found his ‘egregious’ failings had damaged the company’s reputation. 

He sued for unfair dismissal but a tribunal in Glasgow threw out his case after concluding he was to blame for the issues.

An employment tribunal heard managing director Iain Miller was blamed for leaving 85 rooms un-serviced 

Mr Miller’s remit consisted of four hotels, two resorts and a conference centre.

The tribunal heard that in June 2022 the firm’s founder, Donald Macdonald, reported that one of the resorts was a ‘complete disaster’ and Mr Miller had ‘let the place go’.

Later that year a film crew complained the towels and linen weren’t changed at the 85 rooms they had taken for five days. 

Mr Miller lost his £120,000-a-year role following complaints by Ukrainian refugees

The tribunal was also told that in August 2022, a number of Ukrainian refugees arrived.

Their ‘harrowing stories of living conditions’ soon reached the local paper. 

A disciplinary hearing held in December found the ‘failings’ at Strathspey Hotel and the ‘resulting reputational damage’ were ‘egregious’ and Mr Miller was fired.

Employment judge Rory McPherson yesterday found the decision to sack the 58-year-old was a reasonable one. He said: ‘As the most senior person based wholly on site, he was accountable.’

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