Labour Cost Index statistics were released last week and showed that wages have increased by just 1.7% in the past year.
The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) has been pushing for employers to increase wages, claiming that many workers will be expecting a pay rise this year.
The Government is set to tighten up the rules around zero-hour contracts - the casual employment agreements that saw petrol station workers docked wages after customers drove off.
It comes as a union campaign to outlaw the controversial contracts - which are widely used in the fast-food and service industries - gathers a head of steam.
Addressing a constant stream of inane complaints can make an HR manager feel more like a baby-sitter than a business professional and it can have a serious impact on staff morale but how can you tell your employees to stop the trivialities when it's your job to hear them out? One HR expert has some advice.
"You want your staff to come to you with concerns, and you should hear them out with an open mind," said Alison Green.
A Nelson truck driver who maintained she was an employee, rather than a contractor, has won her case for unjustified dismissal.
Waste Contractors Ltd must pay Wendy Blincoe $8500 compensation, $15,488 in lost wages and $2769 in holiday pay plus interest.
A waterproofing company has been fined $33,750 and ordered to pay reparation of $2,500 after one of its employees was overcome by toxic fumes.
The worker was applying a bitumen-based product to the inside of a grain silo at an egg farm near Hastings at the time of the incident in April last year.
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