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Ramadan and fasting - an employers guide

Advice and guidance for line managers and colleagues at work who may know of a Muslim who is fasting during or outside the month of Ramadan.

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Ramadan and fasting - an employers guide

  1. 1. EMPLOYERS GUIDE Developed by
  2. 2. OVERVIEW WHY FAST? What is Ramadan? What should we know about it as employers or colleagues? DAY IN THE LIFE STAFF INSIGHTS MANAGER GUIDE
  3. 3. What is Ramadan? 9th month of the Islamic calendar ONE month of daily fasting from Dawn to Sunset 3am 9pm Ramadan begins and ends based on moon sighting. The lunar calendar is 10 days shorter than our normal year, hence it changes every year. 3 Every healthy Muslim should fast except those who are: - traveling long distances - pregnant women or those in menstruation - elderly or minor (under the age of puberty) although they may participate if they would like to.
  4. 4. 4 Fasting from Food Water Intimate relations Arguments Swearing = Clears the mind and brings focus What is fasting? Recommended throughout time, hence fasting exists in many faith communities
  5. 5. 5 Reflection leading to gratitude To the One who created us, feeds us and sustains us What is Islam?
  6. 6. 6 A guide for life from the One who knows us best What’s the Qur’an? Revealed in Ramadan to the final Messenger, Prophet Muhammad
  7. 7. 7 The results will be presented on the Day of Judgement What’s our purpose? This life is a test to see who opts to live a good life, according to the supplied guidance
  8. 8. Staff insights
  9. 9. 9 A typical weekday 3:00 Wake | Wash | Eat meal before dawn | Pray | Sleep 7:30 Prepare for work 13:30 Afternoon prayer during the lunch break 18:00 Return home from work 19:00 Refresh with a nap | Read the Qur’an | Late afternoon prayer 21:00 Break fast with an evening meal normally with the family Pray the evening prayer 22:45 Additional night prayer at mosque praying up to 30 units of prayer until about midnight
  10. 10. Staff insights Advice for managers
  11. 11. 11 Don’t make assumptions about who in your team may be observing Ramadan or not Islam is a faith that welcomes people of all races and backgrounds.
  12. 12. 12 Observing Ramadan may be noticeable (for example not eating at lunchtime) so make it easy for your team members to let you know if they are fasting If you manage a member of staff who will be observing Ramadan, ensure that you have some one-to- one time to discuss any workplace adjustments that can be considered.
  13. 13. 13 Fasting can affect people in different ways For example, a fasting person may be: •  Quieter than usual •  Slightly tired at times •  Less energetic but don’t take it personally Understanding from managers and colleagues can be really helpful.
  14. 14. 14 Workplace adjustments are at the discretion of the line manager and should not impact negatively on the business Some employers consider options such as: •  Occasional working from home where appropriate to the role and individual circumstances; •  Core hour working where time can be made up in lieu; •  Provision for paid and unpaid leave where viable. When Ramadan falls in the summer months it can be particularly challenging, as the days are longer and hotter.
  15. 15. 15 If members of the team observing Ramadan feel comfortable doing so, encourage them to share their experiences
  16. 16. 16 Colleagues who are fasting will not expect others, who are not observing Ramadan to do the same So don’t feel anxious about making a cup of tea for the team, or ea9ng your lunch. However, be sensi9ve by not con9nually offering them a piece of cake!
  17. 17. Annual leave You may find that some staff request up two weeks annual leave towards the end of Ramadan to help focus on and intensify their acts of worship. This should be treated as any other annual leave request, therefore managers using their judgment to ensure that nega9ve impact on the team and business is mi9gated against, but should try and accommodate as fully as possible.
  18. 18. Advice for fasting colleagues
  19. 19. 19 Prior to the month of Ramadan, do let your Manager know you will be fasting and discuss the impact it may have on your routine or habits. They can then support you by considering reasonable workplace adjustments. They will also be able to seek your guidance on and alert you to events where food may be served.
  20. 20. 20 Where you can, balance your workday. Try to organize your day so meetings and conference calls happen, where possible, in the morning when you are at your most alert, ensuring that your colleague’s own requirements are taken into account also. Try to ensure that you take your usual allocated breaks throughout the day, and where possible get some fresh air at these times.
  21. 21. 21 Discuss with your manager how you can make provision for any additional time for prayer during the working day.
  22. 22. 22 Drink lots of water and eat water-rich foods when you are not fasting to keep hydrated avoiding headaches & tiredness
  23. 23. 23 The end of Ramadan is celebrated with Eid ul Fitr – the festival of “fast-breaking” On the morning of Eid, Muslims go to the mosque for a special Eid prayer. This is usually followed by visits to families and friends, exchanging gifts and socialising.
  24. 24. For further information, please visit