Written evidence submitted by Phil Outten (ENT 40)

The Enterprise Bill

I would like to raise my concerns regarding, the Exit Cap clause of the Enterprise Bill.

I work for Magnox Ltd as part of the NDA estate, at Bradwell in Essex. To which I have had the privilege of doing so for more than 35 years.

During that time I have been part of a team that delivered safe & reliable electricity to hundreds of thousands of people over many years. I was then part of the team that delivered safe & compliant de-fuelling of both reactors which then went on to the site decommissioning process.

When I joined the industry from school in 1978, then the C.E.G.B, it was considered a job for life. As time went on it became obvious that the Magnox side of the nuclear industry would never see people of my age group to the end of our working lives. At the beginning of the defueling process, assurances were made in relation to our contracts and severance payments to keep the more experienced and knowledgeable staff from moving to other industries.

As the decommissioning process progressed, a good deal of the people I work alongside are now contract staff who’s hourly rate of pay far exceeds mine even though we perform the same role. However I have always had a little bit of comfort, knowing that I was part of a robust & secure pension scheme. I always looked at it that, if I worked hard & stayed loyal to the organisation, there would be a fair reward at the time I would be having my contract severed. This date has changed a number of times, the latest date I have been given is early 2020, the previous one being march 2015.

To make my point on the 95k Exit Cap.

I can see & understand what the government are trying to achieve with this bill. It is wrong that certain individuals, Fat Cats as they have been labelled, receive large sums of money, for relative short term work & failing appallingly at the same time.

Unfortunately, the Government have been very very misleading & clever. They have expressed a wish to put an end to excessive pay-outs to the High Earners/Fat Cats, while excluding such public sector workers as The Bank of England, public financial corporations and their subsidiaries, Public broadcasting companies & National Museum employees just to name a few!! Strangely enough, for many years now, the people contracted to the Nuclear Industry (Magnox) have been continually told that we were not part of the public sector when it came to wage and contract negotiations.

I certainly do not consider myself in the Fat Cat category, I'm just a normal working class chap. This Cap is simply not just aimed at the Fat Cats !! But it is aimed at individuals like myself, who just happen to of contributed to a pension scheme over many years. But the fact I have worked hard & stayed loyal to one organisation over many years means I am going to be included in this Cap.

Surely a proposal of this magnitude, which will affect potentially hundreds of thousands of people. Should at the very least be staged/phased in over a number of years. So it gives people time to adjust & reassess their lives. Because these proposals are life changing.

I sincerely hope at the various committee stages, the members will look at the issues/ points I have raised. I look forward to see how the bill progresses through parliament.

February 2016


Prepared 18th February 2016