"We have made submissions on the granting of an option to employers to spread over working hours from Saturday to Monday to Friday in a manner that would not exceed 45 hours a week," he said.
This would mean workers would work 45 hours on five days of the week instead of five and a half days now with no extra payment being made even though a worker would work an extra hour from Monday to Friday.
"Such an arrangement should only be done with the mutual agreement of employers and workers or their trade union representatives."
After talks between employers and labour representatives, the arrangement was allowed for a trial period of three months but needs to be extended permanently, Peiris said.
"Today we are happy to note there has been agreement to allow this flexible arrangement for a trial period of three months.
"But we need some sort of certainty in relation to this where we will have finality in amendments to the labour law."The arrangement would be in line with International Labour Organisation conventions on working hours, he told a news conference to announce the findings of a survey of companies on labour law.
He said 87 percent of respondents in the survey had indicated the Wages Boards Ordinance which governs working hours negatively impacted on employment generation.
"Flexibility in working arrangements is imperative for an enterprise to be competitive in the global market," Peiris said.
"One of the serious impediments in our labour law has been the rigidity with which our laws have been interpreted, which has resulted in employers being unable to adjust work arrangements even with the consent of workers."