Also in the news this week - 5 February 2016

5 February 2016

MP highlights the gender pricing gap

Labour MP Paula Sherriff has raised the issue of gender pricing after studies show that many consumer products - from deodorants to clothing - cost significantly more for women than men. The average difference in price, according to research by The Times, is 37%. Maria Miller, chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, has described the findings as "unacceptable". Miller said: "Retailers have got to explain why they do this. At a time when we should be moving towards a more de-gendered society, retailers are out of step with public opinion."

The happiest cities to work in

A new survey of workers by business psychology experts OPP has identified the top ten cities for workplace happiness. Norwich tops the list, followed by Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton, Plymouth, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Southampton and Bristol. The research found that 71% of workers are satisfied in their current job and more than a third are more satisfied than they were a year ago.

Business rate revaluations

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is in the process of updating the rateable values of all business properties. This is known as revaluation. Businesses can register with their email details and they will be notified when the draft rateable values are available to view in October 2016. Rateable values are used by local councils to calculate business rates; business rates bills will be calculated using the new rateable values from 1 April 2017. Businesses should tell the VOA if the information it holds about their property is incorrect to avoid paying too much for their business rates.

Black graduates earn less than white peers, finds TUC

Workers with degrees who identify as black, African, Caribbean, or black British earn 23% less than their white counterparts on average, according to analysis from the TUC. However, "unqualified" workers earn "virtually" the same amount irrespective of their ethnicity. The racial pay gap widens as people attain higher levels of education, with black graduates earning £4.33 an hour less than a white employee with a degree.

Entrepreneur learning is on the rise

The number of Britons enrolling in online entrepreneur courses has increased by 200%, according to research from learning and teaching marketplace Udemy. Its research has found that more than 40,000 people enrolled in entrepreneur courses in 2015 - a three-fold increase on 2014 - making it the fastest growing UK course of the marketplace's 133 categories. Home business courses have also seen a 167% annual increase in 2015, with entrepreneurship now the fifth most popular type of course in the UK after web development, programming languages, mobile apps and design tools.