Enterprise Bill

Written evidence submitted by Andrew Coles (ENT 16)

Public Bill Committee Enterprise Bill

I am an employee of Magnox Ltd, a company that will be affected by the Government’s Enterprise Bill due to the Exit Payment Clause contained within.

As a long service employee and a member of the Magnox Group Electricity Supply Pension Scheme (ESPS) for nearly thirty years, there are some pension-related points which are causing concern for myself and other work colleagues.

The current life time plan for my employment at  Dungeness A Nuclear Power Station shows that I am expected to be made redundant sometime and no longer than in 35 months’ time , this I have been planning for with my wife and two children since the end of 2006 when the Power Station stopped generating.

Many of my prior twenty –one years’ service whilst at the Power Station was generating electricity which meant I worked Christmas days, New Year’s Eves, Weekends, Summer holidays, with colleagues and myself attending the site at short notice to provide maintenance on plant and equipment to allow the Nuclear Reactors to remain operational and be shut done in a safe and compliant manner, something that I am sure you and the rest of the south east of England are grateful for. This I undertook when others were enjoying the time off, all in the name of providing safe electricity to the public.

When the Power Station stopped generating electricity, I along with many other colleagues chose to stay with the company to provide significant support and advice in dealing with the Nuclear Waste Legacy, a significant part of this decision was based on the fact that I had been provided protection for my redundancy and pension to enable me to plan my future for myself and family when I was no longer needed at Dungeness. This especially applied to myself as I was likely to be made redundant in my very late forties and early fifties when it may be harder to find opportunities where I could re train into a new skill.

My pension scheme has been in place for many decades and has a system that rewards people for their long service, most of us on a very modest wage. We are entitled to a pension should we be made redundant from age 50.  It has been in my terms and conditions since the inception of the scheme and is ‘protected’ for the long serving employees. I would also like to bring to the Ministers attention that those members ,like myself,  who were included in the  Magnox Group ESPS (Electricity Supply Pension Scheme) at 31st March 1990 have additional protection from the Electricity Act 1989 and the Electricity (Protected Persons) (England and Wales) Pension Regulations 1990. This legislation provides protection to both accrued and future service rights. These are our company terms and conditions that have been painstakingly agreed over many years of negotiation.

I am a hard-working local man, who has simply worked in the same place for 30 years, I have planned for an event that no one wants yet right on the eleventh hour the Government decides to step in and meddle with these terms and conditions? Surely this cannot be right? It is not the fat-cat earners that are going to be affected here under this Bill, but the average man like myself who earns a modest wage, but has committed his years of service to his company.

I would hope that you remove the Magnox group from the Enterprise Bill and maintain the professional approach that I and my colleagues have maintained whilst undertaking highly skilled work within the Nuclear Decommissioning Industry.

February 2016

 

Prepared 11th February 2016