Herm boss warns 'paradise' not immune from Brexit
Working on a tiny "paradise" island is becoming less attractive because of Brexit, its hospitality director has warned.
Car-free Herm boasts crystal clear seas but uncertainty over EU workers' future rights and a weak pound is putting Europeans off, staff say.
The privately-owned Channel Island is not in the EU and has a year-round population of 60.
But the tourist island needs 100 staff for its hotel, pub and campsite.
EU workers can live on the 2 sq km (0.77 sq miles) island without restriction but those wanting to live in the Channel Islands after Brexit will be subject to a settlement scheme, similar to the UK's.
"The Brexit uncertainty is not helping. We're losing an awful lot of our Eastern European hospitality professionals," hospitality director Craig Senior said.
"It's tough. I think it's tough on Herm, it's tough on Guernsey - I think it's tough in the hospitality industry across the UK."
Herm employs up to 100 people in peak season, and is currently seeking kitchen, waiting, housekeeping and beach kiosk staff.
Hotel manager Robert Letherbarrow acknowledged isolated island life was not for everyone, and often involved long working hours.
After struggling for staff in 2018, a recent publicity drive saw nearly 200 applications for island hotel roles, but with few candidates from EU countries.
"Normally it's Europe, this year it's all over the world," Mr Letherbarrow said.
That would mean more paperwork, he said, as additional residency applications would need to be completed for non-EU staff.
Herm's new head chef is one EU worker who has taken the plunge on island life, recently moving from London with his wife and two children.
"The place is amazing. Herm is like a small paradise," Krzysz Janiak said.
On Brexit, he feels his future is marginally more secure in the islands: "No-one knows what's going to happen, we don't know what's going to happen in England, and here in Guernsey," he said.