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Tuesday July 17, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The White Paper on Brexit fails to tackle the fate of seasonal workers in the EU. Ski travel operators & ABTA want action.

The Association of British Travel Agents is concerned at the failure in the recent White Paper to address the future of the seasonal workers such as chalet hosts and ski resort staff.

The chief executive of ABTA, Mark Tanzer, said clarity was still needed on the future of posted or seasonal workers.

It is a view echoed by the group Seasonal Businesses In Travel, SBIT.

It is made up of more than 200 British-owned businesses including many in the snowsports industry including Skiworld, Hotelplan (Inghams/Esprit/SkiTotal), Ski Amis, Ski Weekends, European Pubs and Zenith Holidays.

"There is a lack of information regarding employment arrangements. The White Paper refers to agreeing flexible employment arrangements on a reciprocal basis for identified sectors, but there isn't any detail on which sectors this covers, or what it might mean regarding the ability to post workers overseas," said Charles Owen who runs European Pubs and is a key spokesman for the SBIT.

"The ability to post British workers overseas is critical to the continued success of the British ski industry and its ability to deliver keen prices to skiers."

"Most British Skiers tend to book holidays with British Companies, and when they arrive in resort they are welcomed by British Reps, cooked for by British Chefs and generally looked after by British chalet staff," he added.

However SBIT found some encouraging moves in the White Paper.

These included a desire for the UK and EU to maintain open skies access, remain part of Easa (European Aviation Safety Agency), retain visa-free travel, and keep the UK involved in the EHIC system.

"All of which are very important for the British ski and travel industry," said Charles Owen.

SBIT wants the government to prioritise retaining the right to post workers in the travel industry as part of the Brexit negotiations.

The members believe this is vital to a successful sector of the travel industry which accounts for £16.5 Bn of UK GDP, creates 25,000 jobs, contributes £1Bn in tax revenues.

Here at PlanetSKI we have looked at the issues and the potential problems ahead for workers and ski tour operators.

ABTA also found some good news in the White Paper for the travel industry and tourists.

It too was pleased to see that the government recognised the importance of maintaining open skies access, remaining part of European Aviation Safety Agency, ensuring visa-free travel, and keeping the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) system.

It works the other way round too with any seasonal workers from EU countries coming to work in the UK tourism industry.

The group, UKinbound, has pointed out that the inbound tourism industry is the UK's fifth biggest export earner.

In 2017 an estimated 39 million people visited the UK, contributing over £26 billion to the country's economy.

The group has said there needs to be secure rights for EU workers in the UK post Brexit.

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