Europe

Brexit: British chalet girls will need full French work permit to work in the Alps

Brexit: France ‘doesn’t have a weapon to use’ says commentator

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Toby Francis, 19, was ready to achieve his rite of passage by working part-time in a chalet or bar in the Alps as he had seen so many other youngsters spending their winter abroad. He too wanted to live and work in the mountains while skiing in his free time along with other chalet girls and boys.

However, Mr Francis just realised that he will not be able to follow in the steps of all the gap year workers who paved the way for him.

“I’ve applied for loads of jobs all around Europe,” he told The Times.

“But I kept being told they’d only employ people with an EU passport.

“When I started looking I didn’t think about Brexit.

“I was only worried about corona.

“But Brexit is the biggest issue.”

Indeed, because of Brexit, chalet owners in France can no longer employ staff on short-term UK contracts with non-EU passport holders now having to apply for work permits.

Chalet staff in France were offered deals with clauses agreeing to work six, or in some cases seven, days a week.

Pay for staff was typically no more than £520-a-month with bed and board.

Now, if Toby Francis still wants to apply for a job in the mountains, he will have to apply for a French work permit.

He will then be hired on a French work contract that makes it compulsory to pay him the local minimum wage.

French employment will also limit his working time to 35-hours a week and accord him more time off than the usual UK contract which was mainly used before.

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“We now have to pay staff about £1,500 a month,” one chalet boss told The Times.

“It’s a huge increase but the overall costs for holidaymakers haven’t gone up by the same proportion.”

As the paperwork is longer when it comes to applying for a work permit, venues now tend to employ EU workers.

Crystal Ski, the UK’s biggest ski operator, has axed its programme of chalet holidays altogether, while Inghams has cut its programme, including that of sister company Ski Total, from more than 120 to 17.

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