Episode 17 The Big Questions

Episode 17

Nicky Campbell debates these big questions: Are zero-hour contracts ethical? Is the Church of England institutionally racist? Do fathers do their fair share?

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Today, 0-hour contracts, racism in the church, and shirking dads.


Yes, good morning, I'm Nicky Campbell. Today, we are live from


Goldsmiths University of London, welcome, to the big questions.


Zero-hour contracts are when you sign up to work for a company but


that employer has no obligation to offer you any hours. They are common


in retail, catering and tourism. Buckingham Palace uses them. Many


workers like the flexibility, especially students who work for a


little bit extra. Many cannot make ends meet when they have no idea how


much money they are going to earn each week. Refusing at zero-hour


contract could lose you state benefits. Are they ethical?


Christian May from the Institute of directors. Some say there are more


here than ever before, is this flexibility or is it exploitation?


It is definitely flexibility. The numbers involved have been up for


debate in the last couple of months. numbers involved have been up for


debate in the The Office for National Statistics, who have done


the most recent analysis of the Labour market, have said there are


1.4 million such contracts in use. That is not to be confused with 1.4


million people on these contracts because people will have more than


one, sometimes they might have won and they will be dormant. It is


important to keep in perspective, we are talking about 5% of the Labour


market, and within that, we know that 65% of people on such


arrangements say that they have high job satisfaction. 60% say they value


the flexibility to such an extent that they would rather not work in


different conditions. Both of those statistics are a little bit higher


when you ask the question of people in overall employment. The


flexibility, valuable to businesses and employers, but also not to


forget there are a lot of people whose lifestyle means these


contracts suit them. I think recognising that flexibility is


important, but so is clamping down on areas where they are not used


properly. Not making them exclusive. Would it not be better to have a


short-term contract? What about the situation where you're waiting for


the phone call, you cannot work, you are incredibly paranoid. You have


hit the nail on the head. It is the flexibility of saying you cannot


work tomorrow, you will work on Saturday. Will you get that call?


80% of people have said they have never been penalised if they have


not been able to take the work offered. That is important. One of


the issues about this is the way it has been hitched to the political


and social debate about the nature of recovery and employment. It is


often thrown out when people are talking about the economic recovery.


They will just chuck in 0-hour contracts as reason why it is going


wrong. Labour are not 1 million miles away from the government or


the Institute of directors. We are very active, we do not support


exclusivity contracts, we think they need to be flexible. If you are


saying you cannot work for other people at the same time, you have no


flexibility. When you get them right, they are incredibly valuable.


Owen Jones. S nobody is arguing against flexibility. The problem is


they give flexibility to the employer and in flexibility to the


employee. In other countries they have ways of providing flexibility.


S in the Netherlands and Belgium, employees can negotiate fewer


working hours. The problem is there is a return to Victorian ages, when


doctors would stick their hands up hoping to get work. These days, I


meet young people who get up at 6am waiting to get a text message if


they have any hours. Firstly, the large majority of people on


zero-hour contracts are below the living wage. The Office for National


Statistics show that those on temporary contracts have far lower


levels of well-being than those on permanent contracts. That is often


not the case. It is the case. The other point is you can be on call


all day, from 9am until last thing at night, when you only have 20 set


hours that week. You have an exclusivity clause, you cannot work


for other employers during that period. It is very hard to claim


work benefits. It has to be seen as part of a general trend of stripping


security from the workplace. We have seen the growth of self-employment,


it is often unemployment. It happened to my dad.


it is often unemployment. It people are on very low wages, they


do not have pension rights, leave rights, redundancy pay. So it


do not have pension rights, leave trampling on workers rights. S let


us have flexibility but not at the of this in Europe. Come back on


this. 80% of these people have never been sanctioned. We know this


because the report we are referring to says 60% of people value the


worklife balance whereas if you ask them across general employment that


slipped to 58%. If we are talking about this as if these are a symptom


of a Dickensian workplace, it is simply not the case. Demographics


mean the workforce is changing, so this example, I will say one


circumstance whether can be two scenarios. -- where there can be.


Older people, younger people going back into work, you could say that


is a symptom of people taking more ownership of their Labour and


responding to a change in the workforce and people having more


than one job, or you can say it is a symptom of an insecure environment.


The truth is it is somewhere between the two. Often you cannot get a job


because of exclusivity clauses. They are used in only very rare


circumstances and we are against them. You run a company, there you


are. How useful are these for you? We have about 200 engineers


travelling round London, and we use them for our engineers, and they


suit us and the engineers. Why do they suit the engineers? They make


plans around, looking after kids during the day, some of them will


want to work different schedules, so we will meet with them at the


beginning of the month and work out the times they want to work during


that month, then we will map that out and work it in with our


schedules, so it suits both sides. If you take it to an extreme and you


say there are exclusivity clauses and no protections, then yes,


certainly zero-hour contracts should not be handled that way. Do they


have a concern if they cannot do the work that day? You're not getting a


text message an hour before you're supposed to turn up. It just means


we have the flexibility at looking at whether cycles, I'm busy we might


be, so that we can plan the workforce. -- how busy we might be.


We do not have anyone getting less hours than they want. They are on


better rate than they would be if they were on full-time. The word


flexibility is being used a lot, but my question would be, flexibility


for who? These contracts have been around for many years and in some


circumstances, they work very well. The problem is when they become the


norm rather than the exception, and at the organisation I run, we work


with people on these contracts to help them organise to negotiate


better rates for themselves, especially at universities where


they are being used, because increasingly they are being relied


on as the norm, they do not provide security. They were originally


designed to be used as a stopgap, to retain employees when you were in


difficulty. For students, is it a good way to get extra money? If you


get the hours. That is the key point. If we look at this as an


ethical question, employment relationship is just that, a


relationship based on reciprocity. I give you my Labour and I am paid for


what I do. Zero-hour contracts, if used or abused, break down that


reciprocity. They leave people open and vulnerable to abuse and in


situations where they do not know where their income is coming from.


That is just making sure employers cannot abuse them. So it has a place


in the market and their need to be controls in place so that people


cannot abuse it. -- there must be. People talk about it as a great


social ill. We have members representing small and medium


businesses and we asked 1000 if they use zero-hour contracts, 10% of them


said they use 10% of their work on them. If it works, is there a danger


that employees will be worried that they may no longer be on the job


role and be moved to zero-hour contracts. It is the other way


round, people move from zero-hour contracts into the full-time role.


So it gives them experience. I think these are very useful for students


because the flexibility allows them to work around the exam schedule,


and also for working parents, because they can work around looking


after their kids. Nothing there that you have mentioned could not be


achieved by other forms of more traditional contracts that would


guarantee leave and pay. A lot of my friends would not have jobs without


zero-hour contracts. You can have flexible working arrangements


without that. On your point, nearly half of people on these contracts


have been on them for more than two years. They are not a stepping


stone. They can be. They are not necessarily a stepping stone. The


other point is this, the Confederation of British industry,


the voice of bosses in this country, a few years ago published a report


looking for a flexible workforce, depending on this transient


workforce. That means stripping people of pension rights, redundancy


pay, maternity leave, all of those things. They are just really useful.


Let us have a flexible debate. Good morning, how are you doing? It is


good we are talking about these contracts but what are we talking


about? Minimum wage or public sector? I am a nurse, we are always


short of staff, they come in with a list, I do not do this, I do not do


that, but at the end of the day, they get paid more than me. Double


than me. If you look at the other side of the minimum wage, the family


who depend on this sort of work might just think they do not have


work today but tomorrow they might work on minimum wage. That does not


support the family. We're talking about the public sector and the


private sector. A gentleman on the other side. Read Mac the main


problem is there is not a lot of security with the job, really. --


the main problem. Until that, the problem will be very big. You have


picked up the baton. The 80% statistics, I know a restaurant


owner who said they have slipped down the list because they could not


come in. I'm just saying, exactly, you don't know that. I would not


trust that 80%. I do, because that is the office of National


statistics. Cole Moreton has entered the fray. Your statistic tells us


that one in five people have been penalised for turning down work. I


don't think that is acceptable, do you? I do not, I am talking about


the fringe issues, that is the massive bulk. Your other statistics


said nearly one in ten are on exclusive contracts. I will tell you


why, they use exclusivity clauses because it might be someone of great


technical skill, they are used in professions, to protect intellectual


property, training purposes, it is not always used in low paid work.


They are also used by employers to avoid the obligations to help people


with families who need flexible working, legislation brought in


recently has made employers have to find a way around that. Well... We


do not support instances where they are used in place of full-time


employment. I assume you would be against exclusivity clauses. With


the exception of the instances I have referred to, we think there


should be a role for them when they can be justified for a very


particular reason. What I don't understand, I can understand will


having this -- you having this, getting outside, getting the


conservatory fixed, but what about the high street stores we have been


hearing about, chain restaurants, surely they know how many people


they will need? I would not defend bad practice, you would have to get


them in here to do so. -- I would not defend that practice. If you


take Hertz car hire, they say 20% of people they ploy on zero our


contracts, 20% move into full-time roles -- they employ. It is useful


not to reduce this to a pantomime villain. If an elderly worsen or a


person who is retired keeps one foot in the door, that is good for them


as elderly person -- elderly person. Do you need that flexible T?


It can't really be generalised, what about single-parent families and


people who rely on these hours, how are they going to feed their family


and support their families? It is not very generous. Do we need to


make sure there are four per regulations in place? Minimum hours


and certain rights? -- proper regulations. I think this habit


moves away from making it mutually satisfying. It allows companies to


move away from that. When I was growing up, we were saying there is


too much power in the workforce, unions are too powerful, it has gone


completely the other way. I think the point is a good one. It is the


government's role to set a standard for basic employment rights. Where


you have situations of zero our contracts that lapse for a period of


weeks, interrupts employment, they break peoples rights. According to


Vince Cable, we are competing in a global market with countries where


there are no rights whatsoever. Do we need to cut our cloth


accordingly? If we go down that way it is a race to the bottom. It is a


race to the bottom argument. At the moment we live in a country where


most people in poverty are in work, they get up in the morning and they


earn their poverty. That costs a taxpayer in huge amount of money


because we spend money on in work benefits. It sucks demand out of the


economy because people can't spend and depend on cheap credit. Wages


are far lower than most other workers. They don't have security


week after week if they are on zero our contracts. We are stripping


week after week if they are on zero the workforce pension rights, paid


leave, sick days, we should be the workforce pension rights, paid


arguing for a race to the top to improve and extend workers rights,


not to drag everyone to the bottom as we are at the moment. Thank you


very much. APPLAUSE


Your thoughts on that. You can react on Twitter. Follow the link on our


website to where you can join the discussion online. We are debating


live this morning from Goldsmiths University. Is the Church of England


is usually racist? Are the fathers doing their fair share?


Love your neighbour as yourself. given to us by Jesus. And possibly


the hardest to keep. Is it especially shocking when the Church


of England has to acknowledge there is still racism in its midst?


Something they first acknowledged in 1987. This week the house of Bishops


announced it is working on a plan to double the number of minority ethnic


clergy in senior positions over the next decade. There are currently


fewer than five. Is the Church of England institutionally racist? Lay


member of the sea not, Alison Ruoff, is a big problem? -- the General


Synod. No. Is that the debate over? I think it is blown out of all


proportion. I think every church... I correct that, not every church is


as welcoming as they should be but most churches are. But yours is the


state church, the established church. What has that got to do with


it? Is it properly reflecting modern society? There is a survey out that


by 2050, one third of this country not going to be white. You have to


do something about it, otherwise the Church of England will become


irrelevant. The Church of England would become irrelevant as far as I


can see. It might divide over various issues but it is not


relevant -- the Church of England won't become irrelevant as far as I


can see. Because it is the established church there is the


opportunity for the Christian message to go to every house in


every parish. Whether it does or not is another matter. I think we work


ourselves up into a frenzy about institutional racism. If you go to a


church in a village say in the depths of Devon or Norfolk, you


might not see any people then click minority because simply they don't


live there. -- of an ethnic minority. If you go to a church in


central London you will probably see a lot of people of all sorts of


ethnic minorities, worshipping together and getting on very well.


We could walk out of the door here and there would be five Pentecostal


churches that are full to the brim. And that is wonderful. But people


like to be with their own. We have to remember that. They do. For


example, if you come from France and you have French neighbours, will you


tend to be with your French neighbours? Absolutely ludicrous...


It is true. If you are in central London, Oxford Circus, everybody is


speaking their own language in their groups. They don't suddenly start


speaking English. Unless they have to. We need to make a strong


demarcation between the experience in churches that Alison is talking


about, what ever parish they may be come and the experience of the


church, the institution of the church. Alison will know full well,


in 1985, the faith in the city report came out and one of the


things that was hidden away in that apostolate clear message to the


Church of England, -- hidden away in that but was still a clear message,


people from Africa and Asia are Christians and believers and unless


you are opening unwelcome to them, you will not engage with them. The


Church of England has not engaged with them put up the Pentecostal


church is growing enormously, not just because people want to flock


together but because in many cases, when they came, they were not


welcome in their own church. I know that in my own experiences. My


parents were not welcomed in Anglican churches so they had to


splinter off and create their own churches. What did that not welcome


mean, how did that manifest itself? When we used to go to a church, it


was staid and dry and boring. The preacher would say something, people


like performing seals, they would clap every now and then, there was


no interaction. There was no joy, no spirit, you couldn't read the


emotive. My mother always says, if you go to church and the preacher


doesn't move you with the word, he is not doing his job. There is joy


and pleasure in the Anglican Church, you just got the wrong one.


Maybe as a child I was continually exposed to the wrong one. Maybe you


should go to one of the services, let your hair down. I haven't got


long enough hair! Alison says people like to be with their own. Is that


Christianity? The Christian faith has a powerful vision of people of


every tribe gathering together in worship. The failure of the Church


of England is that is not exhibited with sufficient enthusiasm, energy,


vigour, because plans are not made to make it that way. Institutional


racism means... There needs to be a conscious effort.


It is not true, we live in this hugely diverse city, London. In


Britain we have some of the highest levels of mixed race Thracian chips


on the face of the earth. People in this city and elsewhere, they lived


together, they work together, they even sleep together in some cases,


they are setting up families, they are living together. If the church


is going to die it will be because of people like you. One in seven


people are going to a religious service. Do you go to church? I


don't. How do you know? I will turn that on its head, why are so few


people going to churches? My daughter goes to a church that is


not an anger can church. She goes to Hill song from Australia -- not an


Anglican church. On Easter Sunday they had 10,000 young people going


to church. On Good Friday they had 450 young people baptised. You can't


tell me Christianity is dead. I didn't say it was dead. I said


people like you will ensure it won't be relevant. I believe young people


are most welcome in the Church of England. I want to establish


something. Everybody who goes to church can hear the good news of


Jesus Christ, that is what I care about. John Root, let's get back to


it, is the Church of England institutionally racist? Yeah,


because I think institutional racism isn't just an unkind and nasty to


people. It is much more subtle and it is the way the institution


chooses to operate. Institutions tend to operate in the way that


those who lead a comfortable... That is different from the way ordinary


white people, certainly ordinary black people feel. There is that


exclusion which Les was indicating when he said it was boring and so


on, it is not just that people who think that come why people think


that. It needs to be an intentional way to change the -- desire to


change the way we operate. -- it is not just black people who think


that, white people think that. How do we get a situation where there


are more black leaders in the Church of England? We have to have the


right conversation, every historical cause has a contemporary


consequence. We know that the Church of England, Anglican Church, what


ever, all of them were involved in slavery. I think only the Quakers


were not involved. It doesn't matter if it was a long time ago, think


about it in this way. If you are a black person in this congregation


and it is more or less all-white and you are in the, it could be


all-black with a white vicar, and you


all-black with a white vicar, and position because continuously


reinforced ruler images, God is white, Jesus is wide, you can never


aspired to be God or Jesus, you can walk in Jesus's footsteps but not be


like him. These things caused this and because you don't see yourself


represented in that picture. Would you be surprised that these people


don't put themselves forward for those higher positions? If they are


getting treated like that as members of the congregation, what will it be


like if they get to the higher echelons? The thing is, the majority


of Anglicans in the world are black. The majority are in Africa. And the


Church of England needs to learn from that and engage with that and


has a problem engaging with that, particularly over the issue of


same-sex marriage at the moment. I go to church, I go to lots of


churches and I see lots of churches where there are people of mixed race


and different colours and different backgrounds. And they are fantastic.


The issue of institutional racism, that is not reflected in the house


of Bishops and leadership of the church and it is an anomaly and a


disgrace. It is a very serious charge if people are saying there is


institutional racism. Part of the Christian


institutional racism. Part of the mentioned, it is for everybody.


institutional racism. Part of the is available for everyone, whatever


culture. Perhaps we need is available for everyone, whatever


there something in the culture of the Church of England, particularly


the leadership, it is not that people are deliberately excluding


other people, it is something in the culture which is not attractive. It


could be a self-perpetuating elite. It could be and that is true of a


lot of organisations, not just the church. You think the church of all


organisations would strive to be immune from it? As has already been


mentioned, there are churches which are packed with people of allsorts


of different races and the question is perhaps to ask them, especially


churches with black majorities, where people are praising the Lord,


confident in themselves and the gospel in their mission to their


particular community, ask them, what is it about the Church of England


that doesn't attract you? You are 30 years too late. It is not too late.


We were having a discussion upstairs. One of the things we said


was in 2007, great inroads were made. Maybe for the wrong reason,


because it was the so-called abolition of the slave trade, but I


was invited into more churches during that year than I ever have in


my life to have these kinds of conversations. At the time I had


just published a book, and I spoke about being raised as a


Judaeo-Christian child, and how that affected me when I started to look


at, on one hand we are encouraged to praise the Lord, everybody is


welcome in the house of the Lord, but the Lord did not look like us.


If you speak to black people and you say to a lot of them, if they are


honest, how do you feel about a white Jesus? How would you feel


about a black Jesus? They would invariably say, God has no colour.


Jesus was due in Palestine. The point is that is the image that has


been ingrained. -- Jesus was a Jew. Hands up on that point. The


gentleman at the back. I'm an atheist, and from an organisation


called the London Black Atheists. When you look at the character of


contemporary religion, more often than not, contained within today's


religion is misogyny, sexism, racism. Talking about the Church of


England, do you feel from your experience that those things are


part of attitudes within the church of England? Yes. They were


responsible for partaking in slavery. I am also from the same


organisation. People like to stick together.


All religions are basically institutionally racist because the


moment you have a religion, you have an in group and an outgroup, you


have your chosen people. Are you from the Black Atheists? I am not, I


was actually baptised in the Church of England but later I changed my


mind to not be with them. Where do you worship now? With the Catholic


Church. I know they have quite a lot of issues, but I would say the


Church of England is this connected from the African Fellowship. --


disconnected. Most of the issues that the Africans have in the church


are not listened to. Equal marriage and so forth? They do have some


strong views in their but they feel the church is unwilling to listen to


any of their views. The paradox of having a massive power of the


Orthodox Church, but on the matter of feeling excluded and historical


reasons, what is your response? I was not around in the middle of the


slave trade. Neither was I. We have moved a long way since the time when


your parents came to this country, and I think in the 60s, we did not


do well in welcoming people from the Caribbean nations, and I apologise


for that, but we have learned a lot. I go to a church in white,


middle-class area, and our congregation is composed of all


sorts of people, and we get on really well. Having said that, we


have only got one person of an ethnic minority on the PCC. We have


had Asian people on the PCC but they don't want to stand. They don't want


the responsibility, they want to do other things. It is not always easy


to get people to do these particular jobs. I would love more people to


come. Why don't they want more responsibility? I have no idea. This


is the kind of conversation you should have. We try to persuade them


to join us. If you can go to the default that they don't want to


accept the responsibility, that is like when they said the black youth


do not want to work because they smoke weed all the time and all this


kind of crazy stuff. At the end of the day, you need a clear


conversation. I run courses where we interrogate these things, and every


time I run this course, I have Christians in their, black, maybe


white, and they say they do not have this quality of debate or


discussion. People dismiss it because of responsibility. Our


famous sociologist said my position is my possession. Is that the


problem? Is the problem in the pews or the hierarchy? It is in the


nation, in a sense. We are terrified of the phrase institutional racism,


but it is endemic because it is a general attitude of superiority, not


expecting much from black people. If you listen closely to black people


in the Church of England, there is this sense of not being affirmed,


welcomed, not in a very overt way at all. It is a subtle way. People I


know, they would not say people are racist in the sense that they are


told to go away but there is a lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm,


lack of readiness to learn which inhibits people. It is ordinary


white people not having that zest to learn, to develop, to say, what do


these people bring? The lady there, you're married to a clergyman. I am


married to John Root. You said you did not want to speak earlier. What


has your experience the beans -- what has your experience been? Have


you experienced hostility? Yes, it did not come from everyone, but it


does exist and you actually need to get to the other person's side.


Alison said she does not know why they don't want to take


responsibility, that just shows that you don't really understand why. Why


did you get that impression? I think it is very important that we need to


listen and actually to affirm, and in order to affirm, we need to


recognise the gifts we have, we want to use them. It is a problem in


society. Look at this panel. We are in London and all of us except for


one are white. Look at the lack of black MPs, black journalists, it is


a very small minority. There are only two archbishops, one is black


and one is white. And after that, there are none. We have not actually


developed black British ministers. Look at the numbers of black people


compared with white people. There are not that many. It is not about


numbers, it is about institutional racism. A telling point is, I don't


know why they don't want to get involved. One thing is to talk to


people, but the other thing is we need to be open, whether it is in


sexist or racist context, we need to be prepared to change and move our


institutions to change the way they operate. It is not about saying, why


don't you want to take a role in my institution as it is? It is about


saying, what is it about this institution that we need to change.


This is a church whereby everybody is welcome, it does not matter who


they are, what colour. Last word, Andrew. There is a


they are, what colour. Last word, in society about participation,


volunteering, that is probably in society about participation,


case in many institutions, so I think there is a challenge to the


case in many institutions, so I a constant challenge in terms of


persuading people of all different a constant challenge in terms of


types, you could talk about white, working-class men or any other


group, in order to encourage people who look at the thing and say,


group, in order to encourage people is not me. There is a challenge for


that, encouraging participation, that is true of the church and all


other organisations. Thank you for that. You can join in the debates on


the website. Follow the link to the online discussion. You can tweet as


well. Tell us what you think about the last question. Ask others doing


their fair share? If you would like to be in the audience you can


e-mail. -- Are fathers. We are looking for audiences for Walsall


and Brighton. Next week we are back at Goldsmiths with a special edition


asking whether the First World War changed Britain for the better.


Jeremy Paxman, David Stevenson amongst those taking part. Do join


us. Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and


Denmark are the best five countries in the world to be a mother,


according to a survey this week. The UK came the 26th, people with


Belarus -- equal. One factor is even though mothers are the main, they do


most of the cooking and housework. 26 equal with Belarus, that is even


worse than last night in the Eurovision Song Contest. I'm not


surprised at all because men are not pulling their weight. A large study


was done in 2012 that found 80% of married women did the majority of


the housework and over the last few decades we have not this change. One


of the three top reasons why people divorce is neglect, feeling


neglected, lack of respect, because it is not the big thing that break a


couple up like which city they live in, because people realise as a


couple they can see the point of view on a big issue, it is the


little things, when a man will not help lay the table, pick up after


the kids, do the washing, those are the things that erode the


relationships and damage them. Rebecca, you have written a book,


that is why you're here. Modern motherhood and the illusion of


equality. Perhaps there are some old attitudes that persist. A woman's


work is never done, honey, I am home. How much is that cultural? The


interesting thing is a lot of it is cultural, but it is linked to the


supporting structures and legislation in a country. It is no


accident that the countries that come out top in that research in


terms of having a good environment for mothers are the same countries


that encourage fathers to do as much as possible. These are countries


that lay down very firm cultural expectation, that others will take


their fair share in the household, countries that do as much as


possible to bring fathers in in the early days of childcare, so they


have shared parental leave. Hard habit to break. It takes focus and a


bit of a stick and carrot to get fathers involved. What those


countries have is a long length of ring fenced paternity leave for


fathers. It is use it or lose it, they either take it or it is


completely falls away. It forces fathers, in just the same way as


mothers, to come to terms with childcare. It is strange that that


is a stick. It is a carrot and a stick. Parenthood is learned on the


job. You take a deep breath, you get in there, it is really hard and


really rewarding. It is two sides of the same coin. I'm sure there are


mothers and fathers in this room who would agree. We are in 2014 and we


still do not have pay parity between men and women. Outside of the home


we are so lackadaisical. We still have this pervasive attitude within


the home that women are going to get along and do things. We do have pay


parity, this is how. In the 20s and 30s, men and women get paid the


same. We don't have a gender pay gap, we have it kicking in when we


start to force mothers-to-be the main carer and force fathers to be


the main earner. You only need to look at the countries at the top of


the list, where the roles are shared more equally, fathers have equal


rights. We have given women equal rights in the workplace, we have not


given fathers equal rights to take on the role of being the carer,


unless you get equal rights for fathers, as happens more in the


Scandinavian countries, nothing will change. What rights do you want?


There are three key rights. When I child is born mothers are given


parental rights but a father is not -- when a child is born. It is the


right to make decisions about health, religion and so on. It is


automatically given to all mothers. It is not given to all fathers.


There are only two ways a father can automatically get it, one is by


being granted it by the mother when she marries him, the other is from


the state. We are treated differently because of our sex. The


second thing is, all of this support the state puts in terms of child


benefit and other support goes directly to the mother, not the


father. That says basically, mother, you are the primary carer. The third


key thing is parental leave rights. The last Labour government


introduced the most unequal parental leave rights in the world. They made


them mother's rights, not parents rights. When a couple sits down and


makes the choice about taking on the responsibility, they are forced into


certain decisions unless there is a massive income disparity. My


daughter is 16, I was at home for the first three years of my life, it


was easier to make that decision in 1997 than it would be now. Parental


rights were a lot more equal in the 90s but they were less generous.


Even if a man has fewer rights, and quite rightly we need to look at


that, men can see beyond that. If both partners are working or if


mother is at home as a mother, men can come home and still help out.


-- and they do. It is not happening. past the fact... And they do.


It is also the case that women do two thirds of the house work. That


is right across the world. It is also the case that as women earn


more, once they start to earn more than the man, they take on more


house work. You can sort of do less as you earn more but as soon as you


overtake him you end up doing more house work and more childcare than


he does. It is an interesting anomaly. The other thing we need to


be really aware of is that men and women have different views about


what is there. Women tend to see fairness in terms of doing equal


amounts. There is a certain amount of work being done. Some of it is


paid work, some of it is work with the children. The women will see


hours put in in equal terms as fairness. Men tend to feel they can


buy themselves out of childcare by earning more. So they will come home


and they won't muck in necessarily, because they feel their fair


contribution comes from higher earnings. We have a lot of very


complex things going on about how we think about fairness which do not


match. They undervalued the mother, that she is not doing as much work.


Sometimes when men do a bit of housework and praised for it, they


are kind of canonised. The good men who are doing their share... Thank


you! They are not exceptional, that is what they should be doing. You


are worried about men becoming emasculated, what do you mean?


Sometimes we think that men are pushed aside


Sometimes we think that men are strong women, but in my own family I


see my son doing a huge amount of childcare. And all sorts of things.


If there is a nappy to be changed and he will go and do it. He never


gives a second thought to it. I didn't see my husband doing quite


that. I think over 20, 30, 40 years, we have moved a long way in more and


more men doing things. We mustn't go so far as to push men into feeling


that they are less important, less so far as to push men into feeling


valuable, of less worth than women. Why would the man changing his


child's nappy would Why would the man changing his


less of a man or less valuable to the project of raising that child?


Why is that a threat to masculinity? I think we are in danger of women


being so forceful today in saying, this is what you are going to do...


Where is this day? These fathers over here, they are asking to be


involved, they want to be involved, it is not women pushing them into


it, it is the men themselves. If I could just add, if there was shared


parental leave come which we have talked about a lot, if men and women


had their time at home, they could make up their own minds about


whether it was for them or not. At the moment they don't have the


chance. It is what works for each individual couple. In my own


household, my husband is a lot better at doing the yard work and I


am better at organising big birthday parties. You are so forceful!


Britain could do better at drawing men into parenthood. As a


grandfather and a father I have experience of trying this. There are


couple of obstacles. One is that women are far safer than men in


nearly all respects, safer drivers, commit less violent crime. It is


reflected in caring relationships. Men who care for children are much


more likely to abuse them sexually or physically. It doesn't mean all


men but it is true that men are more risky. Catherine, you made a face of


anguish and pain. My baby son is eight months old and when he was


four months old I went back to work full-time, and my husband took


additional parental leave for three months which he is just coming to


the end. Less than 1% of couples in the country do that. I think partly


it is about as ability, that being known about. But when he went to


make the request, and he works in a government department, a large


organisation, they had never heard of the request in the HR Department.


Then they grated it to -- granted it to him as though they were doing him


a favour. He was very much reassured by everybody that it wouldn't affect


his position and he would be able to come back in and they were not


looking firstly at it. -- at firstly at it.


The sort of culture that I view as being from the 70s. I think my


husband has a new-found appreciation for the workplace after three months


at home, it is rewarding but it is hard work. My baby son, bless him,


will come to me and love him but he will equally come to my husband and


love him and be with him, and we are stronger as a family. You have four


children including triplets? That is right. My goodness me. What a joy


they are. Hard work? Yes. I want to say very clearly that being a father


does not emasculate a man. It can be the making of a man, actually.


APPLAUSE There isn't a man in the country who


can stand up and say, I did enough, without getting attacked. Because


you can never do enough and I know full well that people will be


watching this programme and saying, yeah, because I didn't do enough. I


was caught up in a crisis, particularly when the three came.


That forced me to re-evaluate how I felt about it and how much I would


get involved. When our time comes, there is no man who sits there and


says, well, I am glad I didn't spend more time with my children. It is


the greatest thing. If there is anything to make, it has been the


making of me. They are fantastic and have taught me a great deal. It is a


terrible struggle sometimes. For both of us. It is interesting, what


it is to be a man isn't static. The changing role of the man has to do a


lot with the women's movement and the LGB Teemu Pukki. Men are more


likely to talk about their movement -- LGB tee movement.


Although they are not doing enough around the house, the number of


house husband has gone up to 10% to hit -- it has increased hugely.


Women as a movement have change what it means to be a man and that is a


good thing, it is something to be braced. My cousin and her husband


had their first child last night, a baby girl born last night.


Congratulations! The child was born in Norway where they have been


working for the last couple of years. Mother and farmer -- father


are sorting out huge periods of parental leave. I think it is a very


healthy arrangement. That kind of regulation and state involvement in


the laws is one thing. The other side of the argument is just being a


decent person, someone who was brought up well to do your fair


share, to be someone who is selfless, I don't think it requires


too many carrots and sticks. I just wanted to say, I think it is a bit


ludicrous to say it is a threat to masculinity, you chose to bring a


child into this world, if you are not willing to get hands-on and


involved as a woman does, why put yourself in that situation? I think


intentions are good for many people but behaviour takes time to catch


up. You may be point about the historical issue of slavery. It is


incredible, how behaviour takes a long time to catch up to the good


intentions that many men have. I was going to say that growing up in the


house I grew up in, we had to do everything. My parents at this


philosophy, when you can figure up a broom you learn to sweep, if you can


hold a scouring pad you scrub a pot and you have to learn to do


everything. That is how I have raised my children. Then it doesn't


become such an issue. Their -- there may be government things in the way


but culturally, you are prepared for it. So when it does come, it should


be a better society. I think that is spot on but I want to pick up one


point about the way we have framed this question. We said why are black


people not involved in the judge of indolent, it is a really good way to


frame it? What -- involved in the church of England. We have framed


this question, what is wrong with men? The conversation around gender


frames conversation by saying, men are problems and women have


problems. We have to change that mentality. Fathers are doing their


fair share, aren't they? You would not say, our mothers doing their


fair share? Fathers bring home two thirds of the income and do about


the third of their care. We don't say, are women not doing their fair


share in the workplace? We need to get beyond the debate. The language


we use is important, the phraseology is important.


We are out of time to thank you all very much for taking part. Give


yourselves a round of applause. APPLAUSE


The debate will continue online and on Twitter. Next week a special on


the First World War, did it change written for the better? Goodbye from


The Big Questions, have a great Sunday -- did it change written for


the better? -- Britain.


Nicky Campbell presents moral, ethical and religious debates live from Goldsmiths, University of London. Are zero-hour contracts ethical? Is the Church of England institutionally racist? Do fathers do their fair share?

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