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How to support employees during Ramadan- An Employers Guide

Updated: May 30, 2023

How to support employees during Ramadan.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a holy month of fasting and spiritual reflection in Islam. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it is observed by Muslims all around the world.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset, refraining from having food, drink, and other physical needs, and focusing on spiritual purification, prayer, and good deeds.

When is Ramadan?

The exact dates of Ramadan vary from year to year as the Islamic calendar is based on the sighting of the moon. The beginning and end of Ramadan are determined by the sighting of the crescent moon by a qualified Islamic authority in each region. In 2023, Ramadan is expected to begin on the evening of March 22nd and end on the evening of April 21st. Next will discuss how to support employees during Ramadan.

How to support employees during Ramadan

Employers can support their employees during Ramadan by being mindful of their needs and making reasonable tweaks in the workplace to ensure that they can observe the holy month without disruption. Employers can support employees by:

  1. Talking to your employees about what they need: Each employee may have different ways to celebrate Ramadan and different needs. Talk to your employees about what would help you as an employer to support them during Ramadan. This should be handled sensitively as some employees might not wish to share their religious beliefs.

  2. Raising awareness in the workplace: Some employees in the workplace may not know a lot about Ramadan, to help support employees during this time and ensure an inclusive workplace, employers can look to educate everyone in the workplace by raising awareness about Ramadan. This could include doing things like sending company-wide emails about Ramadan and inviting those observing Ramadan to talk to their line managers about their needs (if they feel comfortable doing so).

  3. Flexibility with working hours and annual leave: Employers can offer flexible work hours to accommodate employees who need to take breaks for prayers and where possible take advantage of the ability for employees to work in a hybrid way. Employees might want, for example, to start work early to finish early to leave the workplace sooner. Equally, employers should bear in mind that fasting and nightly worship might have an impact on the energy levels of employees and be aware that they may wish to take annual leave during this time and to celebrate Eid, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan.

  4. Providing a quiet space for prayer: Employers can provide a quiet space for employees to pray during their working day which can be used not just during Ramadan. Employers could consider creating a multi-faith prayer space within the workplace that employees of various religions could use.

  5. Being mindful of food and drink restrictions: During Ramadan, employees will be fasting. Employers should be mindful of this and where possible not do things like offer these individuals food and drink, bring food into the workplace or have working lunches that those who are fasting are expected to attend. Equally, employees may have low energy levels so Employers could avoid having important meetings around things like performance during this time where possible.

Additional Resources

Remember that people may celebrate Ramadan in different ways. You can access additional resources relating to supporting employees here;

Muslim Council for Britain

NHS Muslim Network

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  • All information within the post is provided for guidance only, always seek your own legal advice.

  • The information with this post was correct at the time of publishing, March 2023 but may be subject to change.

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