Employers are overwhelmingly opposed to Mondayising Anzac and Waitangi days - and it could cause rostering shakeups to avoid paying workers for the extra days, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) says.
Parliament's transport and industrial relations select committee on Thursday heard submissions on Labour MP David Clark's Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill, which would give workers a Monday off when one of the two holidays falls on a weekend.
The EMA's northern advisory services manager David Lowe said between 80 and 90 per cent of employers oppose the bill because of its potential cost to businesses.
However, the bill has support from businesses that benefit from a long weekend, and from owner-operators who take a day off when their employees have a day off, Mr Lowe said.
He said the two days are not holidays, but commemorative days, and he believes Mondayising them would diminish their significance.
"Moving it to a Monday for those who don't usually work on the weekend, what we're effectively doing here is we're just legislating extra holidays that weren't put in place intending to be a holiday anyway. It was to enable people to attend the celebrations."
Mr Lowe warned extra days off would cause a significant hit to economic output.
"That is the wrong message to send in the current environment."
He says some employers are considering changing their rostering so staff work between Tuesdays and Sundays to avoid extra paid holidays.
The Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway told the select committee the law change "makes sense", saying the cost would not be hugely significant and would not undermine the significance of the two days.
"New Zealanders work long hours, there's a lot of stress out there, work is very intensive these days if you've got work, so people really do value holidays."
He said Mondayising Anzac Day would bring New Zealand into line with a number of Australian states.