An employment lawyer says it is completely wrong to tell companies to pay workers for public holidays if they are on ACC.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) earlier this month said the Holidays Act required employers to pay a public holiday, even if someone was off work injured.
This sparked outrage from the Payroll Practitioners Association, and an online retort from lawyer John Hannan, saying it was "wrong. There is no real issue".
Quoting the law, he said, "An employer is 'not required to pay' a worker for 'any time' for which the worker is paid ACC weekly compensation. There is no limit on 'any time'."
Hannan told RNZ: "ACC weekly compensation completely replaces the employer's obligation to pay.
"I don't think anyone would have really thought that if you're receiving ACC weekly compensation, you get paid for public holidays on top of that."
This was doubly so, because someone on ACC would not otherwise have been working on a public holiday, since they were off injured, he said.
That applied unless there was some special contractual arrangement otherwise, he said.
"Other employment law specialists, so far, they have agreed with me."
He was unsure how MBIE could have got it wrong, but the mistaken interpretation should not be carried over into new laws that were being worked on to replace the incredibly problematic Holidays Act, he said.
In mid-April MBIE withdrew its advice on the matter and said it would be coming out with new guidance soon.
"It's complex," Hannan said.
"It's creating costs. It's creating administrative runaround, in a way in which I really don't think it can ever be said that that was intended by the legislation.
"It's not that hard to, you know, get things slightly wrong. But I think in this case, if you actually sit back and look at what the legislation was intended to do, and its full context, you get to a pretty clear answer."