Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, where people who follow Islam will fast every day for at least 30 days from dawn to sunset.
There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration during Ramadan as it may affect each individual differently so support may need to be tailored accordingly.
For the year 2022 Ramadan is expected to commence on Saturday 2nd April and is due to end on Sunday 1st May. However, this is confirmed closer to the time.
What do you need to consider?
Additional rest breaks should be considered for those taking part in Ramadan, whilst fasting there are no drinks including water to be consumed until fast is broken at sunset and as such the effects of this should be taken into consideration.
Some employees may pray more frequently during this time and additional rest breaks would be an ideal opportunity to allow them to pray should they wish.
Altering working hours
There may be occasions were an employee’s shift start time clashes with the opening or breaking of the fast (dawn and sunset), it is important to consider the impact of this as the person should be allowed the opportunity to eat.
Depending on the time of the year sunrise may be early hours in the morning and as such the employee will likely be waking up during the night to eat, allowing them to change their working hours slightly should allow them to have sufficient rest and may be something you wish to consider.
If you have the facilities to do so, then you could allow a private meeting room to be used as a prayer room.
Training during Ramadan
If there is any upcoming training that may be physically demanding, then you should discuss this with the employee to understand if they would like to postpone the training until after Ramadan.
You must however not assume that a person is going to be celebrating Ramadan or that they require additional support as this could be considered as racial discrimination. To help avoid this the Company could send out correspondence to all employees stating that should anyone be celebrating Ramadan they should inform the Company of any temporary measures and support that can be considered during this period.
Should an employee put in a request this must be taken seriously and assessed on an individual basis. You must consider the request and respond in a timely manner.
There may be further aspects within the work environment that may require consideration e.g playing of music in the workplace. We encourage you to explore this with your employees.
If you would like to know more about how to support your employees or would like guidance on this please contact us on 01543431050.