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What employers should know about Ramadan

This year, Ramadan started on 18th June and will end on 17th July. Many Muslims will be taking part in the observance of this religious festival and this may have an impact within the workplace. Employers should be aware of what is involved and be able to provide support for the employees during this time. Below are some of the issues that employer may come across.

Fasting

Ramadan involves a period of fasting, each day, between sunrise and sunset. This could lead to reduced performance levels, particularly towards the end of the day, as a result of lack of food. Employers should take into consideration the reason for any related dip in performance, and relax usual performance monitoring procedures.

Praying

It may be that some employees will wish to pray more often during Ramadan. Ideally, these employees should be permitted to leave their workstation for a couple of minutes and be provided with a suitable quiet location where they can pray.

Annual leave requests

Employers may experience a surge of annual leave requests from employees who want time off for Eid al-Fitr, a 3 day festival to make the end of Ramadan. Whilst it may not be possible to authorise all requests, employers should be mindful that they are treating employees of different religions in the same way, and most employers will shut down and therefore allow time off for Christian festivals, such as Easter and Christmas.

Communication

Speak to your employees about their needs during this time. Appearing open to their needs will help to foster loyalty and motivation.

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Nicola Mullineux

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