Brexit threat to the seasonaire

Brexit threat to the seasonaire

Hundreds of British companies and tour operators could face problems if current employment practices are disrupted by Brexit, an industry poll reveals.

Under the Posted Workers Directive, UK firms are able to post employees to EU countries as ‘seasonaires’ to work locally, but subject to British law and UK employment contracts, rather than those of the EU country.

At least 10,000 British people work abroad on this basis.

Some 35,000 foreign staff and tour guides work similarly in the UK, according to the European Tour Operators Association.

If the provisions of the Directive are lost, there could be a major impact on UK based businesses in the EU, such as chalet companies, nanny agencies, ski schools, pubs, bars and even physiotherapy practices.

Results of the industry-wide survey will be used to alert the government to the importance of the Posted Workers Directive or a similar arrangement when the UK leaves the EU.

The study was spearheaded by travel insurance provider MPI Brokers, in association with the trade bodies Abta, Aito, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association and the Itt.

MPI managing director Michael Pettifer said: “We and the other trade bodies will present the facts to the Department for Exiting the EU and encourage them to negotiate maintaining the status quo on the Directive.

“More than 5,500 firms and individuals were invited to take part in the survey.

“However, the 207 respondents represent a significant part of the market, serving around 544,000 skiers. That is about half the total number of British skiers, according to the Ski Club of Great Britain.

“The respondents’ summer – non-ski – business is approximately 8 milion UK travellers. Some large companies did not respond so we believe this represents about 60%-65% of the total.”

MPI and its associates are studying the survey results in detail and aim to present the findings to the government soon.

Some respondents to the survey voiced strong views:

·      “There is a very good chance that the concept of a catered chalet holiday at reasonable prices will disappear completely.”

·      “Our current business model would no longer be viable. We are having to look at ways to refocus our business activities to continue post-Brexit.”

·      “Running our hotel would not be financially viable.”

·      “We will move the company to Eire and employ an Irish workforce.”

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