Enterprise

Written evidence submitted by Stefan Roman (ENT 31)

Dear Sir /Madam

I am writing about the proposed cap on redundancy payments for public sector workers in the Enterprise Bill that will shortly be coming before the House of Commons at its public committee stage.

I and many of my work colleagues in Magnox Ltd, are likely to be ‘netted’ in the proposed Exit Payment Cap of the Enterprise Bill which we are shocked to discover as we do not consider ourselves to be Fat Cats. I am a Project Manager working for Magnox Ltd at Bradwell Nuclear Site, have been in the industry for 18 years and I am now delivering high-risk decommission projects.

The ONS considers Magnox a public sector company which is far from the truth. We are not public sector employees. We work for a private Parent Body Organisation – the Cavendish-Flour Partnership.

When Bradwell ceased generation in 2002 and I knew then that I was destined, with many of my other colleagues, for redundancy. I knew that once the power station is decommissioned, I will lose my job at Bradwell.

My Company introduced the Lifetime Partnership Agreement (LPA) to secure our favourable redundancy terms as we knowingly worked ourselves out of a job, favourable terms that would allow the company to retain its skilled, knowledgeable staff, like me, to defuel and de-commission these reactors and Magnox stations. Employees had also been given a ‘pension building’ opportunity over an 18 month period, which would give us another whole year in our pension pot. The LPA ended in 2010 and since that date ALL our redundancy packages have been capped/frozen at a reference severance value (with no increase in value since 2010). However, personally I still had the comfort knowing that, when I’m likely made redundant in the next 2-3 years, I will still have a protected redundancy and pension terms, which have been developed over many years. Myself and other colleagues I spoken to, have factored this into future lifestyle and future financial commitments.

I will be approaching redundancy at the age of 50, without prospects of a future career in the nuclear industry, since all Magnox sites have ceased generation and the Company is restructuring, progressively making staff redundant. I have been asked, and I am very pleased, to continue my service at Bradwell till ‘Bradwell end’, namely, till 2019 until Bradwell enters the Care & Maintenance phase. Bradwell is the ‘lead & learn’ Site, is the first nuclear site in UK to embark on an accelerated decommissioning programme.

I now feel very disappointed at the prospect of the government forcibly pulling the carpet away from under hard working middle- class people like me (not a Fat Cat by any definition). I have been loyal & committed to the industry, knowing until now that we have great protected terms and conditions at the end of our job. I was lead to believe that these protected T&C will remain protected, hence why I committed myself to a continued career with Magnox and did not seek employment elsewhere. Had I known that the tables will turn, I would not have missed so many other job opportunities.

Enforcing the Bill on Magnox Ltd would be dangerous, counterproductive, unfair and demotivating.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority spends hundreds of millions of pounds a year to deliver these Magnox sites into Care and Maintenance. I believe people will very likely re-consider their long term prospects with Magnox and will eventually leave the business if their Terms and Conditions are to be degraded by the Enterprise Bill. Already the morale is affected by current circumstances.

I ask you to please raise these important issues at the committee in the House of Commons, with a view to secure a commitment that private companies in the nuclear estate involved in decommissioning sites (Magnox in my case) will be excluded from the scope of the proposal.

Thank you for your time & support.

February 2015

 

Prepared 18th February 2016