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Skiword - chalet board nextseason only 5 meals

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just been looking at the Skiworld website and noticed they are changing their Chalet board so you only get 5 evening meals instead of 6 same goes for cooked breakfasts.

Other chalet companies I use dont seem to be making this change, or at least haven't announced it yet

Anyone know the reason - is it brexit related or just a hidden price rise

apologies if this has already been raised but I cant find it mentioned in a quick search
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I don’t think it’s just Ski world, reading up for next year. It is coming in across many companies.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Ditto. Have also seen this across a lot of sites.
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@Farnham_Red, On the contrary, I wonder if it's related to EU employment law.
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Inghams is one changing to 5 nights
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Its to stay in line with French (EU?) employment regulations I believe.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Both my children have worked a couple of seasons each, for the likes of them it is a huge result. Days off doubled.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I heard it was down to EU employment law & having to work French/EU law rather than on a UK contract.
Though I bet an element of it is also to keep prices low for next season. Since we dont leave the EU until end of March next year.
Thats the bulk of season they could still work on a UK contract.
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Are the prices coming down to compensate? Toofy Grin
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There's been significant pressure on the TOs for many years (long before Brexit) to stick to EU/French employment law and to employ their seasonaires on French not UK Contracts.

The main "issue" has been "total hours worked a week"and "€s paid".

As we all can appreciate a chalet host/chef preparing breakfast 7 days a week then dinner 6 nights takes significantly more than the 35 hours.

So, I suspect (and have no definite knowledge on this) that TOs had 2 options;
1) Increase number of employees
or 2) reduce number of meals served.

As they don't want to put the cost up to tourists which they would do if they went for option #1 they've gone for option #2.

It will have the additional benefit of helping out local economies too as tourists will need to eat out twice a week not once!
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marcellus wrote:
There's been significant pressure on the TOs for many years (long before Brexit) to stick to EU/French employment law and to employ their seasonaires on French not UK Contracts.

The main "issue" has been "total hours worked a week"and "€s paid".

As we all can appreciate a chalet host/chef preparing breakfast 7 days a week then dinner 6 nights takes significantly more than the 35 hours.



This is the crux of it, having worked multiple seasons in Austria and France, we were working under a UK contract which we were specifically told not to give to the authorities (mainly Austrian tax police) should they come calling (which they did,) and had a local language version of "our contract" that was in the resort office to be wheeled out for such occasions.

My French one stated I worked no more than 35hrs a week and earned 13000 euros for the season, reality £100 a week. The Austrian one broke down our salary less all the expenses the company incurred for us.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks all - looks like its going to be a general change then unfortunately. Not specifically Brexit related but I guess that has forced the issue.

Though it does raise the interesting question about employing UK nationals on French contracts after Brexit. As the terms arent at all clear at the moment its tricky to know what will happen, Would it be reasonable to assume that all chalet staff without an EU passport will need a work visa from next March. Wonder if we will have problems next easter with staff having to return early? or will the "transition deal" smooth that issue over.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
UK chalet companies have been breaking the law for years.
Unfortunately companies paying staff low wages has been going on for ever.

The best way to get fair wages for oppressed chalet staff is to nationalise the ski holiday industry, and use government subsidies to make up the short fall in revenues from customer payments against the increased cost base.

Should be nowhere near the 350 million a week extra the Govt will have sloshing around.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Farnham_Red, unlikely because of the transition period, but for the 19/20 season, quite possibly.

More critically - who is going to export the tonnes of British tea bags that make it over the channel every year Shocked

The season worker payment model needs a critical overhaul if it is to remain sustainable - its on the verge of exploitation right now.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
marcellus wrote:
There's been significant pressure on the TOs for many years (long before Brexit) to stick to EU/French employment law and to employ their seasonaires on French not UK Contracts.

The main "issue" has been "total hours worked a week"and "€s paid".

As we all can appreciate a chalet host/chef preparing breakfast 7 days a week then dinner 6 nights takes significantly more than the 35 hours.

So, I suspect (and have no definite knowledge on this) that TOs had 2 options;
1) Increase number of employees
or 2) reduce number of meals served.

As they don't want to put the cost up to tourists which they would do if they went for option #1 they've gone for option #2.

It will have the additional benefit of helping out local economies too as tourists will need to eat out twice a week not once!


by forcing families to eat out an extra day, they are already putting the prices up.
Personally thought most chalets get the food delivered & the staff just put it out, rather than cooking it all from fresh.
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Mr.Egg wrote:

Personally thought most chalets get the food delivered & the staff just put it out, rather than cooking it all from fresh.
in a word - No.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously never been on a chalet holiday then.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Mr.Egg wrote:
by forcing families to eat out an extra day, they are already putting the prices up.


But the Tour Operator can still advertise/sell the weeks holiday at the headline rate of £599 which is what the "great British Public" care about when they're choosing between holiday (a) or holiday (b).
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I wonder how many weeks into the season it will be before someone makes their first post on snowHeads to complain about only getting fed for 5 nights instead of 6?
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@Hells Bells, I dont think we will have to wait for the season to start - I would estimate September for the "I booked X but they didnt tell me I was getting Y even when it was in print" Laughing
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WindOfChange wrote:
UK chalet companies have been breaking the law for years.
Unfortunately companies paying staff low wages has been going on for ever.

The best way to get fair wages for oppressed chalet staff is to nationalise the ski holiday industry, and use government subsidies to make up the short fall in revenues from customer payments against the increased cost base.

Should be nowhere near the 350 million a week extra the Govt will have sloshing around.


Not many of the chalet staff I have come across would consider themselves oppressed!

True its hard work when done properly and the headline wage isnt that high but they get board lodging and a ski pass thrown in which is worth quite a bit.
also if they are good they can probably expect at least another 50 to 100 Euros in tips per week depending on ratio of guests to staff.
Its also a lifestyle choice for a few months - go and ski and have fun meet lots of other people and enjoy yourself.

No one benefits if the wage structure is changed to a high salary model. Look at Switzerland where this happened by accident as collateral damage to prevent imported builders plumbers etc on foreign contracts. The ski chalet holidays have disappeared so there is no job as a chalet host anymore
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Nadenoodlee wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:

Personally thought most chalets get the food delivered & the staff just put it out, rather than cooking it all from fresh.
in a word - No.


@Mr.Egg - maybe you can provide a list of ski companies that use that model of just putting out pre-prepared meals so I dont accidentally book one. None of the companies I have used over the years have done that. For example my Chalet holiday in February the Staff cooked a breakfast in the kitchen in front of us to order - baked a cake for afternoon tea and then cooked -again in front of anyone that wanted to watch a 3 course evening meal - all from base ingredients
Thats fairly typical with minor variations (eg sometimes 4 courses and canape's are also thrown in ) of my experience over 30 years of Chalet holidays
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Perhaps so the T/o chalet hosts can get really drunk 2 nights rather than one and not turn up for work, as opposed to 1 night on it and one lie-in, unless you are unlucky to get a host team that don't care and sleep in anyway as often as they feel like.......... you're only a paying guest, after all they are only there for the apres and occasional ski/ boarding day you are an unnecessary hindrance ime of most chalets I've stayed in, unless you pay top money, in which case they eat from your allowance still, and smile more but tend to be better behaved!
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Out of interest I made a hypothetical enquiry on Crystal website. It still looks like they are advertising 6 nights still.

5 nights 3 course meals, and 1 4 course farewell dinner.
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Mr.Egg wrote:
by forcing families to eat out an extra day, they are already putting the prices up.


Are they planning to put razor wire round the kitchen area on the extra day off ? You could just pop to the supermarket and buy some ingredients and cook yourself or at worst get an oven ready meal you know !
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@dsoutar, whilst its been a few years since I took a chalet holiday, in those days the kitchen was strictly off limits. They didn't want guests a) raiding the larder, b) making a mess, and c) contaminating stuff/giving everyone food poisoning.

Things may have changed, but H&S regulation relating to food prep is likely to be tougher now than when I last took such a holiday!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
dsoutar wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
by forcing families to eat out an extra day, they are already putting the prices up.


Are they planning to put razor wire round the kitchen area on the extra day off ? You could just pop to the supermarket and buy some ingredients and cook yourself or at worst get an oven ready meal you know !


In my admittedly very limited experience of catered chalet holidays, use of the kitchen by guests does appear to be tolerated in some chalets and not in others.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
CaravanSkier wrote:
dsoutar wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
by forcing families to eat out an extra day, they are already putting the prices up.


Are they planning to put razor wire round the kitchen area on the extra day off ? You could just pop to the supermarket and buy some ingredients and cook yourself or at worst get an oven ready meal you know !


In my admittedly very limited experience of catered chalet holidays, use of the kitchen by guests does appear to be tolerated in some chalets and not in others.


It's due to the twin joys of HSE and the insurance, only on a couple of occasions that I know of have kitchens had to be locked up and on one of those the moron guests caused about 800 euros worth of damage breaking into the kitchen , broken crockery and food pinched.
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You know it makes sense.
.......or go out for a pizza?!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Farnham_Red wrote:

True its hard work when done properly and the headline wage isnt that high but they get board lodging and a ski pass thrown in which is worth quite a bit.

NO.
In France the minimum wage is just that - the minimum that must be paid.
Approx EUR 1400 pm for 35 hours a week.

Lift passes / food / accommodation may be offered as well, but not in lieu of payment.

Whether or not people are happy for less wages but good perks is irrelevant as its illegal in France.

Social charges of 67% are payable on top of this, and if you do offer food and accommodation, then the 67% surcharge applies to that as well (EUR 480) this was calculated based on 540 for accommodation and 180 for food, which were the official figures in 2009 when we last employed people here.

So for 40 hours you'd be looking at a cost to the employer 3K per month without consideration for paid holiday at the end of the contract or compulsory contributions to a training fund.
Or 12 grand per member of staff per season ( if paid the bare minimum ), plus the actual cost of providing food and accommodation.

You should be on a French contract if the service is delivered in France - so chalets who do not offer flights cannot claim that part of the service is offered in the UK.

Tour Operators on the other hand offer a package, and part of that is not delivered in France, so they have a slight degree ambiguity on that front.
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@WindOfChange, You can see why nobody wants to take on any employees in France and Macron is trying to change the system. Do you know if its similar in Austria and Italy.
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@GarryC, I only know about France as this is where we had our business, and employed 7 staff.
Another thing which cripples small business trying to play by the rules is that directors taxes and social contributions are based on turnover not on profit, so running a high turnover - small profit margin model is impossible for small business.
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WindOfChange wrote:
@GarryC, I only know about France as this is where we had our business, and employed 7 staff.
Another thing which cripples small business trying to play by the rules is that directors taxes and social contributions are based on turnover not on profit, so running a high turnover - small profit margin model is impossible for small business.


and don't forget should your actual turnover nt be what the authorities think it should be they'll tax you on their numbers not yours!!
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@marcellus, Got hit by that one too Sad
The previous owner had opened in the Summer too, and augmented the turnover figures with income from another restaurant in La Rochelle ( all owned by the same company though, so his declarations were legal).
He did this to boost the sale price for the business, as it used to be around 1.0 - 1.2 x turnover.
We only opened in the Winter, so the Annual turnover was down ( even though the Winter was up 20%), and the authorities decided we must be wrong, so as you say, they decided how much we turned over even though our actuals showed way less - go figure!
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snowdave wrote:
@dsoutar, whilst its been a few years since I took a chalet holiday, in those days the kitchen was strictly off limits. They didn't want guests a) raiding the larder, b) making a mess, and c) contaminating stuff/giving everyone food poisoning.

Things may have changed, but H&S regulation relating to food prep is likely to be tougher now than when I last took such a holiday!


In France, and perhaps elsewhere, chalet kitchens are classified as restaurants; and I think it may be illegal, rather than just a TO rule, to cook in a restaurant kitchen without appropriate qualifications / documentation. And there are regular H&S inspections, typically at meal times, to check up.
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Esprit will be down to 5 nights too.
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