15th May 2018
As Ramadan begins millions of Muslims will start a month of fasting, foregoing food and drink between dawn and sunset. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and, although fasting is usually the primary association with Ramadan, this month involves a lot more than refraining from food and water. Extra prayers, late nights, charitable actions and a further emphasis on patience and virtue are all part of this holy month.
The basic requirement is for all Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting means that no food, no drinks (including water!), smoking or anything else is consumable during the hours of sunrise and sunset. The fast is broken at sunset and Muslims will spend most of their evenings in a special prayer.
With this all in mind, it is reasonable for employers to expect workers’ performance to be affected to some extent; Muslim workers may become a little irritable or slightly tired, particularly in the afternoons, during Ramadan. It would be sensible for employers to therefore make appropriate accommodations where the job allows. Employers who accommodate Muslim workers during this time help ensure they perform to the best of their abilities. Having policies in place can lead to better morale, understanding and greater productivity.
When is Ramadan?
The dates of Ramadan change each year. In 2018, it will commence on or around Wednesday 16 May 2018, depending on when the new moon is first sighted. It lasts for 29 or 30 days and ends with the 3 day celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr where Muslims go to the mosque for a special prayer in the morning.
Things to consider during Ramadan
Amirah Butt is a Paralegal in the Employment Team at Lamb Brooks. If you feel you have been affected by issues raised in this article or need advice on any other employment matter, call our Employment Team today on 01256 305574.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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