Problems with the payroll systems at the Police and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment could be part of a more systemic problem with holiday pay that extends into the private sector.
MBIE yesterday confirmed it was having payroll issues relating to its holiday pay, and that the issues may go back 10 years.
Similar payroll issues at the police have cost it $30 million.
Finance Minister Bill English says he is now asking all employers across the public sector to check their payroll IT systems, to see if they have problems with the 2004 Holidays Act.
Mr English said private sector companies have also raised the Holiday Act payroll issues with him after the publicity over the police payroll problems.
Today he told reporters that "there may well be a widespread issue in the private sector and public sector around the calculation of holiday pay".
The Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce also said it was possible that there were issues in the private sector.
He says the Holidays Act calculations are quite fiendishly difficult.
Labour leader Andrew Little says the problems with the payroll systems are not acceptable, given the government has been in office for eight years.
He says government departments should have been doing routine audits that would pick up any issues.