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New EU law changes chalet host lifestyle forever

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
New EU law changes chalet host lifestyle forever - says Mountain Heaven Ltd (a small Cheshire based operator) in their blog

Quote:
The European Parliament has recently adopted revised regulations on so-called ‘posted workers’ and although countries have two years to adopt the new regulations they have been implemented immediately in France and so it means that seasonaires such as chalet hosts and resort staff are entitled to the same level of pay as local workers, free accommodation and food and very importantly local working time directives.

https://www.mountainheaven.co.uk/blog/new-eu-law-changes-chalet-host-lifestyle-forever/
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I have to say that this is a long time coming.
My wife and I run our business in Austria ourselves, the British industry has normalised the ripping off of winter seasonal workers. We know how much work and time it takes to allow things to run smoothly and to offer the best service to guests; this is not nearly rewarded enough by the TO's pay structure.
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for me.. Good.
I dont do catered chalet & all the better spots are taken up by catered chalets.
Hope it means more self catering options become available.
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Has to be a good thing in my view. When I used to go on chalet holidays it was pot luck whether the service was any good. And the whole set up seemed a dodgy practice undermining hotels and b&bs which were operating legally.
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I wonder how they will enforce it?
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So a much greater effect on the business than Brexit!!
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@Alpinebear, I think you'll find it's very easy.

I think (not sure as we're a French company anyway (with no employees)) that if you are offering holiday accommodation in France you have to register with the Mairie.

Even if not, if you want to offer your guests some of the benefits that many resorts give residential clients you have to do that through the Mairie.

And if your staff want, e.g., reduced rate season passes, they have to prove residence and contract, to the Mairie or the local tax office.

Not an exhaustive list of perfectly reasonable, non-invasive processes and all of which gets you up there on the radar and easily subject to controls.
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A few comments...

If seasonaires are being ripped off, there are long queues of them waiting to be ripped off.
There are also many that can't wait to get back out for another season of being ripped off.
Discounted (to around €500 a season) lift passes are given to anyone with an employment contract, to a UK or French company operating in the resort.

To those saying this is a good thing, this will give not only an increase in costs, but also a drop in revenue from people deciding the cost is too great. It would not take a large visitors for many resort businesses, lift companies and chalet/hotels to cease to be viable. Be careful what you wish for.

From a personal point of view, the private rented s/c property sector will be more in demand, if we ever decide to rent. That's no good if the resort is on its knees though.
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Quote:

Discounted (to around €500 a season) lift passes are given to anyone with an employment contract, to a UK or French company operating in the resort.


Not necessarily. Depends on resort. Chamonix valley demands that you pay your taxes. (Actually, that may no longer be the case - can't recall the rules from this year - they did on the past).

Anyway, all I was saying was that control & enforcement is pretty easy if the Mairie in question is so inclined.

How big a share of the European ski accommodation market is "old-model" chalets anyway??? How big a share are UK and Dutch (few others do the chalet stylee thing)?

It's not one of the things keeping me up at night.
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Quote:

the private rented s/c property sector will be more in demand

more in demand, or a general oversupply of self catering compared to catered?
I go to have a holiday and expend enough energy either skiing or MTBing, that I really don't want to have to cook.
I'm expecting bargain S/C prices, and busy restaurants.

Glad I don't have a chalet in the Alps, s/c or fully catered.
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Mountain Heaven seem to welcome the changes overall and understand why they are being introduced even though the title of article has negative connotations.

Whilst there has always been a luxury end of the market for me "cheap" was usually the word associated and attached to a chalet holiday. The oft sited communial nature was fluffed up to overcome the amateurish nature of the organisation and accommodation. Don't get me wrong it served a purpose and did its job for those of us on a budget and dare I say British urbanites wanting a skiing and mountain experience.

Eventually we discovered the DIY/Self Catering option. We can do amateurish holidays ourselves and tbh it's just as much if not more of an adventure. And can be just as communial if you want it to be.

Clearly a few chalet companies will fall by the wayside whilst those that remain will become perhaps more professional and on the down side a little more expensive.

Couple of thoughts:

I am guessing they won't have to provide a lift pass anymore - and staff will have to buy their own?

Like others said, it will presumably make employing other EU workers more or equally attractive.
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I'm not sure why the staff would be entitled to a work related discounted lift pass.
This would just confirm that the staff are working on the piste... which opens that old chestnut very, very wide!
So the TO's could subsidise them from their own bulk discounts (if they get them).

@bar shaker, I'm not sure your argument really holds water.
Just because there is a long list of people willing to be ripped off it doesn't mean that this should continue or be the standard.
If there was proper pay and legal working conditions don't you think that the list would be considerably longer?
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bar shaker wrote:

If seasonaires are being ripped off, there are long queues of them waiting to be ripped off.
There are also many that can't wait to get back out for another season of being ripped off.


I hate this mindset that people have. It's used to justify so many bad practices and so much exploitation - both in and out of the ski industry.

How about the plight of illegal immigrants trafficked across the Middle East and Europe? They pay thousands of pounds in cash to be run around in the back of pickup trucks, oxygen deprived lorry trailers, barely floating boats in rough seas; crossing several continents, living in fear as they're handled by gun-toting traffickers... and then run the risk that they'll suffocate on the way, drown when their boat capsizes, or even if they do make it to the UK... get picked up by customers agents in Dover, held in a detention centre for a month then flown back to wherever they started where they face being disowned by their family. But hey - by your logic - this is totally OK because there's a huge queue of them waiting to do it. And there's a long queue of people waiting for their second attempt after their first failed.

I was in a chalet for a few nights in January (needed the accommodation) and there were all these overly middle class lawyers and doctors whinging about the service from the chalet hosts. "oh this morning I had to ask for the coffee pot to be filled up! can you believe it?" "oh me too, and today when I got back from skiing at 2 in the afternoon, the fire wasn't lit!" etc etc - not exaggerating. I pointed out that they got paid absolutely bug all and that they could only really offset this by getting to spend a lot of time skiing, hence maybe they weren't back yet at 2 in the afternoon to light the fire. And was just met by blank stares of yes but I am paying to be served. With the same arguments - "they get free accommodation and food - I wish I got free accommodation and food in my £75,000 a year job" / "yes but they get a free lift pass" "yes but they're here enjoying themselves". People totally missing that IT IS A JOB. When you are at work you are entitled to be paid for the work that you do. End of. I asked how many of them would accept rubbish pay if they got a company car instead... unsurprisingly not many hands up.

- Some season workers are too young or naive to realise they're being exploited
- Some season workers know they're being exploited but are OK with it because they enjoy the season
- Some season workers are misled to believe they won't be exploited and then are exploited using loopholes in the system
- Some season workers are told they'll be paid more and then on arrival are advised of 'unavoidable budget cuts' which affect their pay

There is no justification for paying people badly, and no justification for exploiting people. The facts that "all the other chalet operators do it", or that "there's plenty of people who are happy to be exploited" do not in any way make it acceptable.
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@dp makes a good point. After all, didn’t UK voted to leave EU to stop the long queues of eastern Europeans from coming in?

Hopefully the Brexters are not staying in chalets. Wink
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@dp, +1 . Top Rant.

We went on two chalet holidays. On one of them, our very young chalet hosts were out all night drinking chilli vodka, shagging underage girls, and undercooking our dinner (cold lasagne is not pleasant). As several of the staff were unable to get up for breakfast, one young girl was running up and down stairs, serving three chalets in the same building.
The next time we went with a different company. Still a mainstream ski tour operator, but we had responsible experienced chalet hosts, a good resort manager, and very very good food.

Guess which ones were the better paid?
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Well said dp.
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A seasonaires pass provided by SATA in Alpe d'Huez was 483 euros ish. So a chalet host will pay the same as waiter or a chamber maid or ski man etc. Not a bad price to pay for the season.
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@dp, appreciate the sentiment of what you are saying and I know you are pretty passionate about workplace abuse (be it pay or H&S), but I have to say there is a problem in comparison you draw:

Illegal immigrants are faced with a crappy choice between staying in an appalling situation (in Libya or wherever) or risking the dangers you list above trying to get into EU.

Uber drivers, or Amazon despatch workers are faced with a crappy choice between (morally if not strictly) illegally low pay and zero hours contracts or no work and so no income at all.

No one I ever heard of was 'forced' to go work a season for crappy pay in order to escape a dire alternative (bet there are some examples, but few and very far between). They very literally choose to do it, so the comparison with the two groups above breaks down.

That said I think the problem is it's just gone too far (the low pay business model that is).

I reckon it should work something like this: If you work in a chalet in France you are paid the French minimum wage (say €10ph for 35 hrs) you get taxed on that headline figure (by the French or your employers base nation, I don't really care) you get social charges on that headline figure (by however is offering you the benefits, if that's French medical and pension then France, if it's UK NHS** and pension then UK). If your employer offers you accommodation, it does so at a price which you are free to accept or you make your own arrangements. Your employer could offer to upfront your season pass costs but then recover that (plus a modest admin fee) over the seasons pay.

You'ld be left with whatever you are left with. More I suspect than many get now, correct?

Businesses could pay more than the above, if they did they should get better staff and be able to offer a better experience. If the customer doesn't choose that better experience for a little more cost then ........

Or is that the model now? If so what's the issue? Maybe it's that applicants are 'obliged' to take say the accommodation and then over charged for it? I dunno, I'm sure I'll have read a layout of the pay structure on here sometime before now, but I can't remember, can someone lay out a budget example of how it works at present?

If this were the model then (Brexit unknowns aside) there would be no advantage in employing Bob from Basingstoke over Pierre from up the road (except if Bob's skills are a better fit).

So what am I missing? That's a honest question:
Is it application of UK min wage over host nation?
Is it taxing/NI in inappropriate nation?
Is it overcharging by employers for employee 'benefits'?
What are the 'biggest' contributors to the feeling that some seasonaires are getting ripped off?


** That route would need topping up with 'private' insurance which would be the employers expense.
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I might be wrong but last season a season pass for Paradiski was under 700 euro and I think it was even less for me
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@dp,

Quote:

- Some season workers are too young or naive to realise they're being exploited
- Some season workers know they're being exploited but are OK with it because they enjoy the season
- Some season workers are misled to believe they won't be exploited and then are exploited using loopholes in the system
- Some season workers are told they'll be paid more and then on arrival are advised of 'unavoidable budget cuts' which affect their pay


When I worked a season (paid 50 euros a week plus board and ski pass) I didn't see any of those things.
I knew what the package was and I was delighted to get the job.
The only time I felt exploited was when one set of guests stiffed us on the honesty bar (denied they had taken the drinks but we found the empties).

Hardly any of the people I worked with saw the job as a career but as an opportunity to do a lot of skiing without racking up debts.

The regulation changes will kill most of the gap year ski job for Brits. That might be a price worth paying but I'd be pretty sad about it if I was 20.
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[quote="dp"]
bar shaker wrote:



There is no justification for paying people badly, and no justification for exploiting people. The facts that "all the other chalet operators do it", or that "there's plenty of people who are happy to be exploited" do not in any way make it acceptable.


While lots do it for the experience & feel of a long holiday.
Is it any different to Holiday Reps or Cruise ship workers?
All getting exploited in someway but they are happy with the trade off or they would not do it.

As for 'free food & accommodation - plus lift pass' then that could be seen as an employee perk & be taxable - the same way a company car is for example.
So pay them a decent wage & then get whacked on a P11D come April
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@jedster, did you feel you were paid what you were worth?

Did you feel there was enough employment protection around your job?

I think being exploited is actually quite difficult to recognise for those that are being exploited. And there is an assumption it's just sex workers or dealers low in the chain. But for example my brother worked for a start up where there got way behind on his wages and expenses. He knew the score, he was middle aged and had run his own business before. But he was still being exploited. The inevitable happened and the company went into admin with him owed a substantial sum.
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bar shaker wrote:
A few comments...

If seasonaires are being ripped off, there are long queues of them waiting to be ripped off.
There are also many that can't wait to get back out for another season of being ripped off.


It is about unfair competition for local businesses. I don't think the French Govt. really gives much of a shit about chalet hosts.
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Not so why TO get so much hate for this. If people want to work for a set wage + benefits they should be free to. Nobody is forcing them, or holding them captive to do this job. If it was the slavery some people make out then how come so many go back?

A 20 year old on minimum wage in UK is making less than £250 per week. In comparison working in a chalet getting to ski 6 days a week, having free accomodation, lift pass, food etc. plus getting paid some spending money and tips on top. I can see why it's an attractive option.
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@dp, I've seen some stretching of comparisons of scenarios but your one takes some beating.

Comparing in any way a seasonaire doing some work chalet work in the Alps to people being 'human trafficked in oxygen deprived lorry trailers, barely floating boats in rough seas; crossing several continents, living in fear as they're handled by gun-toting traffickers' is quite laughable. Laughing




I'm sure Ulysses and Cuthbert during their gap year will be distressed at filling coffee pots and plating tea cakes all by themselves......bless them.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 12-06-18 13:15; edited 1 time in total
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Been on a couple of catered chalet hols with brit operatiors, and the staff stasndard is pretty poor in my opinion, hoping that thew new regs will help drive recruitment / attract a new standard of employee.
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midgetbiker wrote:


Illegal immigrants are faced with a crappy choice between staying in an appalling situation (in Libya or wherever) or risking the dangers you list above trying to get into EU.


I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't likening the plight of season ski workers with that of illegal immigrants (also side note, and not to open a can of worms - people escaping war / appalling situations etc are refugees, illegal immigration generally refers to people moving for their own choice - ie better economic standards, nice scenery, etc. I was mainly referring to the latter, thus they've not been forced).

I was just stating that just because there is a long queue of people who appear to want to be exploited, and a long queue of people who've been exploited before and appear to want to do it again, it doesn't mean that the exploitation becomes acceptable.

Quote:

That said I think the problem is it's just gone too far (the low pay business model that is).


Definitely a case of this to some extent too. As we pointed out in the H&S debacle (people who weren't there - don't ask), legislation often has to come in not because some chump in an office is feeling over-zealous about something which has 'always been OK', but because something which has in the past been self-regulated is no longer self-regulated and people who were previously acting sensibly are now pushing the boat out as far as it'll go before the line snaps, usually at somebody else's expense.

Even if 99% of chalet operators limit their staff to just "as bad a deal as everyone else", it only takes one person to find new ways to worsen the deal, for every other company to use it as a justification to lower their standards in line.

Quote:

Businesses could pay more than the above, if they did they should get better staff and be able to offer a better experience. If the customer doesn't choose that better experience for a little more cost then ........


Certainly a big part of the problem is that the customer doesn't demand better. If the customer is OK to accept a haphazard service in return for a cheaper deal, it's no surprise that companies strive to offer the cheapest deal. Bizarrely though - in situations like the one I described in the chalet - the Great British chalet customer seems to expect a high standard of hospitality and a rock bottom price. And then at the end of the week they whinge to the operator, the operator copy and pastes their generic apology into the e-mail, and no single toss is given because everyone's accepted this mentality that you can't win the customers over anyway.

If a chalet company came along and said we will pay our staff a good living wage, give them single room accommodation and a suitable amount of time off... this makes our price 300% of that of the competitor; would we Brits buy it? Of course we wouldn't. We're all up for a bit of casual exploitation so long as it suits our wallets... the demand for Chinese goods, sweatshop clothes and battery eggs shows where our priorities really lie.
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Mr.Egg wrote:

Is it any different to Holiday Reps or Cruise ship workers?
All getting exploited in someway but they are happy with the trade off or they would not do it.


Again, you're totally missing the point. As I said in my first post, the fact that some people appear to be willing to be exploited, does not mean it is therefore automatically OK to exploit other people. You are taking the stance that because holiday workers or cruise ship crew are exploited at work, it is therefore OK to exploit chalet hosts too. Because hey - there's a trade off - they get to visit nice places / go skiing.

You may not realise it but there's a mighty big perk with 9-5 jobs too - you get to see your friends and family at the weekend, live at home with your kids, take holidays at your choice of timings etc. But people tend to overlook these perks because they don't involve sun loungers, cocktails or casual sex. YES, there will always be young people who want to go do travel industry gigs for the life experience, the travel and the fun times. But it's still work, and just because these people tend to be young, with less commitments and less financial concerns etc... it doesn't make it OK to exploit them which is what people here are persistently letting themselves believe.

I've worked on cruise ships and the pay is actually drastically better than people think it is too. I was on about £30,000 tax free, and I only worked 8 months a year. BUT - I never saw it as having free accommodation - because it's not. The reason I lived on the ship is because they needed me to be 15 minutes from work at any time. And that means rest is never real rest. The reason I had free meals is because I'd often only have 15 minutes to between shifts, and I'd need to get dinner in because otherwise I wouldn't eat. These things aren't perks - they're necessities for the company so that you basically don't keel over and die from exhaustion. Don't get them confused as perks just because they're free.

boarder2020 wrote:

A 20 year old on minimum wage in UK is making less than £250 per week. In comparison working in a chalet getting to ski 6 days a week, having free accomodation, lift pass, food etc. plus getting paid some spending money and tips on top. I can see why it's an attractive option.


That's all very well but you're making the assumption that all chalet staff should be 20 year old minimum wage unskilled labour. Which they're not.

If you want a comparison, try taking the UK wages of a chef and hospitality host with customer facing experience, doing 60 hours a week. Which won't be £250.

This is half the problem in my opinion. People seem to have this assumption that everyone working a chalet season has basically taken the choice between that or the dole. Time to start seeing your chalet hosts as skilled, dedicated professionals carrying out a challenging role in a demanding environment, not a bunch of minimum wage gap year students who'd rather go skiing than flip burgers.


king key wrote:
@dp, I've seen some stretching of comparisons of scenarios but your one takes some beating.

Comparing in any way a seasonaire doing some work chalet work in the Alps to people being ]'human trafficked in oxygen deprived lorry trailers, barely floating boats in rough seas; crossing several continents, living in fear as they're handled by gun-toting traffickers' is quite laughable. Laughing


That's because I didn't compare it, you total moron.

I said that the fact there's a demand for something doesn't automatically make it ethical.
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@dp, I think I’m in general agreement, but I don’t agree that chalet = cheap. I could heartily agree that some individual’s ideas of what is included and isn’t (they’ve usually never had staff *) is rather dissociated from reality though.




* haha, didn’t necessarily mean domestic staff, just that they’ve never employed anyone directly.
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Whether chalet is 'cheap' depends on where you put 'cheap'. Cheap doesn't have a fixed value, it's relative to the 'going rate'.

The point is that the Brits like cheap so the chalet operators compete to be as cheap as possible. They're not 'cheap', compared to maybe staying at a UCPA or getting a self-catered place. They're not 'cheap' in that any ski holiday is going to cost a lot of dosh in the context of the average person's annual budget. But as a result, they're all fighting to be as 'cheap' as it's possible to be whilst still turning a profit.
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Quote:

Been on a couple of catered chalet hols with brit operatiors, and the staff stasndard is pretty poor in my opinion, hoping that thew new regs will help drive recruitment / attract a new standard of employee.

Been on a couple of catered chalet hols with brit operators, and the staff standard was pretty good in my opinion. Staff standard being exactly why there is such a high returning custom rate. Hope those staff are able to continue providing such good and helpful service for both skiing and MTBing holidays.
The MTBing one in particular. It's either fully catered with quality staff, or shuts down entirely. There must be practically zero market for S/C.
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Quote:

The MTBing one in particular. It's either fully catered with quality staff, or shuts down entirely. There must be practically zero market for S/C.

I have to disagree with this. I know far more riders (myself included) who always self-cater for MTB.

Back to the OP, what @dp, says makes a lot of sense.
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@dp, actually, I think the hard constraint is the "turning a profit" one. Given the number (I assume it fluctuates for "natural" reasons) of retired folks who thought it would be fun to do a catered chalet in the old family alpine home, who have no fixed costs, plus the vagaries of snow cover, a fickle public, a shrinking market (this may not be true but I think there are fewer and fewer people who instinctively want to replicate a country house party in the Alps) - then actually making money is extremely hard (I speak from experience, albeit in the early '90s).

The most successful current chalet businesses that I am aware of are not by any definition cheap.

@andy, given the numbers of bikes in summer season that get hosed down in my bath(s), that is most certainly not the case. rolling eyes Shocked
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Quote:

I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't likening the plight of season ski workers with that of illegal immigrants

Now but you were drawings parallels between the two situations with their constant stream of seemingly willing participants. IMO there is no parallel between the one's hard choices and the others free choices.

Quote:

also side note, and not to open a can of worms - people escaping war / appalling situations etc are refugees, illegal immigration generally refers to people moving for their own choice - ie better economic standards, nice scenery, etc. I was mainly referring to the latter, thus they've not been forced

Yeah, I know, and I though about inserting a "/asylum seekers" in there, but I wouldn't want to appear pedantic wink

Again though, I contest your assertion that an illegal immigrant isn't being forced. If the economic situation where they originate is bad enough then they are being forced, maybe not as brutally as an asylum seeker but in the same way people are 'forced' to accept zero hour contracts.

Anyway, we're dancing on the head of a pin here and I'm pretty sure coming from a similar standpoint morally.

So back to my question: How much do they get paid in the chalets, how much work do they do for that, and how does the exploitation creep in. Facts and figures, black and white, enlighten me.
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Quote:

It is about unfair competition for local businesses. I don't think the French Govt. really gives much of a poo-poo about chalet hosts.

Agreed and that's why the minimum wage applied should be the local one, tax and social charge on that, but then a degree of post tax deduction is in my opinion ok so long as it's all clear at the outset (and you have the choice to reject say the accommodation).
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Quote:

The reason I lived on the ship is because they needed me to be 15 minutes from work at any time.

Plus on a ship there is no choice. With no choice you are being forced. Accommodation on a ship, or an off shore rig, or a mining compound, etc etc should def not be seen as a benefit.
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dp wrote:

boarder2020 wrote:

A 20 year old on minimum wage in UK is making less than £250 per week. In comparison working in a chalet getting to ski 6 days a week, having free accomodation, lift pass, food etc. plus getting paid some spending money and tips on top. I can see why it's an attractive option.


That's all very well but you're making the assumption that all chalet staff should be 20 year old minimum wage unskilled labour. Which they're not.

If you want a comparison, try taking the UK wages of a chef and hospitality host with customer facing experience, doing 60 hours a week. Which won't be £250.

This is half the problem in my opinion. People seem to have this assumption that everyone working a chalet season has basically taken the choice between that or the dole. Time to start seeing your chalet hosts as skilled, dedicated professionals carrying out a challenging role in a demanding environment, not a bunch of minimum wage gap year students who'd rather go skiing than flip burgers.


Just did a quick job search on google for Head Chef positions in my area - Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales

This came up

Head Chef
Emlyn Hotel - Newcastle Emlyn
£25,000 - £30,000 a year

https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Cawdor-Collection/jobs/Head-Chef-3a9f9f4ac96e935a?q=Chef&vjs=3


Even taking the maximum wage on offer, this job works out at £457 per week take home

Subtract housing, bills, food & drink, and recreation from that and it doesn't look too different from the weekly earnings of a chalet host but for considerably more work and responsibility.

I know which one I would choose (and which I did for a number of seasons in my late 20s)
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midgetbiker wrote:
Quote:

The reason I lived on the ship is because they needed me to be 15 minutes from work at any time.

Plus on a ship there is no choice. With no choice you are being forced. Accommodation on a ship, or an off shore rig, or a mining compound, etc etc should def not be seen as a benefit.


Mate honestly I worked for Carnival long enough to tell you that if they could find a way to house you on a barge being dragged along by the ship where you had to climb a dodgy rope ladder onto the ship in gale force winds every day, so that they could make the money from renting out your cabin... they would do.

I'm inclined to say accommodation being provided by chalet companies is reasonably compulsory as well... on the basis that (1) they need you relatively close to the chalet so that you can be there easily, (2) if you lived in a different village outside resort, they'd have to provide transport to work everyday; and if you lived in resort off your own rent payments they'd have to pay you sufficiently more money to cover it... either of these options would presumably be dearer than providing accommodation in resort. The fact is whether it's ships, holiday resorts or ski resorts... it's in your interests for one reason or another to have your staff living nearby. Thus, it's not really a perk is it? It's a necessity.

midgetbiker wrote:

So back to my question: How much do they get paid in the chalets, how much work do they do for that, and how does the exploitation creep in. Facts and figures, black and white, enlighten me.


The chalet hosts of a certain chalet company that we both know but I won't name in the interests of anonymity, in a nice French town where you may or may not spend some of the year residing, told me they get EUR400 a month and the chef gets EUR500. When I have been there they tend to come in around 0630 and leave around 1000, then return around 1600 and leave around 2200, so lets say 9 hours a day 6 days a week; plus changeover day is 0630 to 2200 straight through. Then there's days they need to do shopping and stuff, lets call it 5 hours a week. And there's a chef's night off so lets say minus 6 for that one. So weekly hours is probably around 70, monthly hours is roughly 300. So 400 euros is approx EUR1.33/hour, which is around £1.173. If we use UK minimum wage of £7.83/hour, monthly minimum wage for these guys would be EUR2663. The MBU season pass is EUR1250 which spread over the, let's say, 5 months of the season, represents approx EUR250 a month, so we need to assume that the chalet company is giving them 1950 euros worth of accommodation and food. And I'm unconvinced that one bed of a twin room in the seasonnaires accommodation and 2 hot meals a day can come to that much money. So I stand by my belief they are underpaid.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 12-06-18 15:03; edited 1 time in total
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For most young, unqualified, chalet staff with no family responsibilities having a roof over their head, enough to eat and, a ski pass and beer money is more than they could hope to buy for themselves with a minimum wage job in the UK. In these instances talk of "exploitation" is irrelevant, really. It's a fun way to spend a winter. I agree that many chalets are far from "cheap". And not all chalet staff are poorly paid. My son got at least 1500 euros a week and good staff accommodation when he cooked in top end chalets. The guests paid significantly more than that to the staffing agency who provided him AND paid at cost for the food, too. But that was the sort of chalet where one party booked the whole place - at a couple of thousand per bed per week, basic. It's how the other half ski!
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Mike Pow wrote:


Just did a quick job search on google for Head Chef positions in my area - Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales

This came up

Head Chef
Emlyn Hotel - Newcastle Emlyn
£25,000 - £30,000 a year

https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Cawdor-Collection/jobs/Head-Chef-3a9f9f4ac96e935a?q=Chef&vjs=3


Even taking the maximum wage on offer, this job works out at £457 per week take home

Subtract housing, bills, food & drink, and recreation from that and it doesn't look too different from the weekly earnings of a chalet host but for considerably more work and responsibility.


I don't know how you figure more work, I doubt the chef position is 2 shifts a day, 7 days a week.
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