We are currently in the month of Ramadan, ending on 4th June. During this time many Muslims will fast each day between sunrise and sunset and perform additional prayers and other religious duties.
Here are ways in which employers can support their employees who are observing Ramadan: –
- be aware of the potential effects on employees of not eating or drinking during the day, combined with a change to sleep patterns, and should consider taking steps to support them.
- Don’t assume all Muslim employees will be observing Ramadan in the same way, or that those who are fasting will want the employer to make special arrangements for them. Employers could encourage all employees to discuss with them any impact that they think fasting could have on their work, and any measures that could be helpful.
- Consider arranging shifts to accommodate employees’ preferences where possible, for example so that the employee can be at home to break the fast at sunset.
- Consider accommodating requests for annual leave.
- make colleagues aware that it is Ramadan and encourage them to be supportive of their fasting colleagues, in particular by not offering them food or drink.
- try to avoid scheduling work-related social events during Ramadan.
- don’t expect fasting employees to meet with clients over lunch.
- enable employees to arrange their working days to allow for lower energy and concentration levels in the afternoon, for example by scheduling important meetings or work involving operating machinery in the morning, and tasks that are less physically or mentally demanding later in the day, and
- allow flexible working, for example an earlier start time, a short lunch break or extra breaks for prayer.
There are useful Ramadan timetables available on the internet so you can see what time sunrise and sunset are.