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Tuesday April 10, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Worries are mounting that British seasonal workers in the Alps could become a thing of the past. An organisation formed to lobby the government is stepping up its campaign.

Without the EU free movement of labour rules then many jobs may go and the number of holidays on offer by the main tour operators could be slashed with the prices for those remaining soaring in cost.

The UK tour operators need people to work in the chalets and bars, meet holiday makers at the airport and do a range of seasonal jobs in winter tourism. 

These jobs are normally done by UK nationals who are allowed to work abroad, under UK employment laws, as part of the EU's Posted Workers Directive, PWD.  

Once the UK leaves the EU there are huge and very real concerns this may not apply.

"Unless there is a reasonable alternative to the PWD, a major part of the industry could collapse, and thousands of livelihoods will be at stake. This will affect travel companies, their seasonal employees and customers alike," warned the managing director of MPI Brokers, Michael Pettifer. 

"What's more, it will have serious consequences for local businesses and their staff in popular destinations," he said.  

Mr Pettifer's company insures many of the seasonal workers and many snowsport enthusiasts.  

He made is comments at a recent industry lunch in central London.      

Michael Pettifer, MPI BrokersMichael Pettifer, MPI Brokers

Last season two of the largest winter operators reduced their holiday programme by 10% - that's 8,000 holidays.  

The same is expected next winter. 

"Skiers start booking their flight inclusive packages 11-months in advance with businesses like ours and holidays for the 2018/19 Brexit year are already on sale," said the managing director of Skiworld, Sarah Searson.  

Skiworld is the largest independent ski specialist in the UK.  

Overall there are an estimated 25,000 seasonal UK jobs in the holiday and travel sector.  
A newly set up organisation, Seasonal Business in Tourism (SBIT) has been formed and is now lobbying the Department for Exiting the EU.   

Its members are now lobbying MPs. 

Representative met at the end of last month in London.

It wants a long-term and fast-tracked work permit/visa process that will permit UK citizens to be able to work in the EU on a temporary basis to meet the seasonal demands of the tourism industry post-Brexit.

It also wants workers posted abroad temporarily to remain in the social security system of their home nation.  
The UK companies will be able to hire locally but it is feared this will be more expensive with the costs passes on to the consumer.  

Some companies have already hired people under the EU regulations and will therefore be less affected.

Others see some opportunities

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this story with their views later so do check back.

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