Written evidence submitted by Ian Gillies (ENT 43)

I would like to make the following comments on the ‘Public Sector Exit Payment Cap’ aspects of the Enterprise Bill.

I am presently employed as the Electrical Systems Engineer at the Dungeness ‘A’ power station working for Magnox Ltd. I was an apprenticed by the CEGB at the Dungeness Power Station, starting in in 1976, and have been a member of the sites engineering team since 1990. I was a member of the sites engineering team providing support to ensure safe operation during the sites generating phase and am now part of the sites core competency and knowledge base providing support during the hazardous decommissioning phase.

I have become a long serving member at the site as the work has provided me with a lot of engineering motivation, experience, financial security, good benefits and has been attuned to my life time goals and personal aspirations. I now have a comparatively reasonable financial income as a person with professional standing but I would not consider myself to be a ‘fat cat’ looking for short term gain, failing and then being paid off with a large remuneration.

The closure of the Dungeness A Power Station in 2006 was announced by Magnox in 2000. It was recognised by Magnox and staff that without a sensible severance arrangement personnel would naturally leave for a longer term future and Magnox would lose it’s core competency and struggle to operate safely within it’s nuclear licence arrangements. On this basis the present Magnox severance terms were formulated, which inspired personnel to stay until they were no longer required and provided Magnox with a means of securing the necessary knowledge support for nuclear safety purposes. This retained personnel and their knowledge and persuaded many workers, like myself, to make the life changing decision to stay.

I should point out that in 2000 when the closure was announced, I did not expect the decommissioning to be as involved as it has become and was expecting to have to relocate soon after closure. This commitment made by Magnox in order to retain employees is an important reasons why I and many of my colleagues maintained their personal allegiance.

In addition it should be noted that my Employer (Magnox) is a privately owned company that is managed by the reactor management company. As such I am not a public sector worker, but because the site is a government owned asset and therefore audited by the office of national statistics I find that my privately agreed severance and pension arrangements have become entrapped into the consequences of this Enterprise Bill.

The proposed exit cap at £95k not only affects my severance arrangements but also has a knock on effect with my pension due to inclusion of the deficit payments. These proposed changes are affecting me not because I am a ‘fat cat’ but because of my long term service on a reasonable salary.

I urge you to revise the scope of the proposals to exclude Magnox Ltd and also other sectors where long serving personnel are also being penalised for similar reasons.

February 2016


Prepared 18th February 2016