26 May 2017: Supporting Muslim colleagues during Ramadan
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts this evening. It’s the period when practicing Muslims will fast from sunrise until sunset, pray and perform good deeds for 30 days.
There are some exceptions to fasting for children, the elderly, the sick and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The holy month finishes with a three-day festival – Eid al-Fitr. This year, Ramadan is due to end on the evening of 24 June.
Because Ramadan is taking place during the spring/summer, the daylight hours are longer so the impact on Muslim employees will be greater. Fasting could last up to 16 hours a day.
Below is some guidance on how to support your Muslim colleagues over the next 30 days:
- Remember that Muslim colleagues are fasting so will have reduced levels of energy, concentration and productivity towards the end of the day due to lack of food and water.
- Schedule meetings, training or any important tasks in the morning.
- Encourage them to take short, regular breaks during the working day.
- Avoid asking them to attend business lunches.
- Create an environment where they feel able to discuss their Ramadan fasting and religious observances openly.
- Give them space so they can pray undisturbed.
Muslim employees are protected under the Equality Act 2010 against unlawful discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.
Accord supports all Muslim members observing Ramadan. If members feel they are being discriminated against or suffer a particular disadvantage, they should call 0118 934 1808 (select option 1).