Ramadan is a month-long Muslim observance, this year beginning on Monday 12 April at sunset, It is expected to end at sunset Wednesday 12 May, and during which, most Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. There is no statutory requirement for employers to make adjustments or arrangements for employees or volunteers who are fasting during Ramadan or other holidays when people of specific religious groups are required to fast, but considerate employers will try to do so.
For example, regardless of whether a person is working from home or at a workplace, an employer might consider allowing, where it is reasonable to do so, several short breaks during the day rather than an extended lunch hour; allowing flexible hours so workers’ start and finish times can suit the periods of fasting, and trying not to require fasting workers to attend lunch meetings or evening events.
In a workplace, the employer may be able to provide a quiet area for prayer or rest. Arrangements such as this should be discussed with fasting workers, rather than assuming this is what they want, and/or employers should make clear to workers that they can ask for such arrangements.
The articles below have practical suggestions for providing a pleasant and supportive working environment for Muslim colleagues. Many of the suggestions are also relevant to arrangements for service users.
- Workplace considerations during Ramadan. Information and guidance for NHS Managers and staff, but relevant for all employers and organisations using volunteers, 2021.
- Ramadan at work: HR best practice. Includes what actually is Ramadan; what do Muslims do in Ramadan; Eid ul Fitr; best practice for Ramadan at work. HRZone, 7 April 2021.
- Ramadan and coronavirus: Supporting Muslim workmates. This is from last year when we were in full lockdown. Things aren’t quite as strict now, but the guidance still applies. Trades Union Congress, 23 April 2020.
- How to support your Muslim coworkers who are fasting during Ramadan. Business Insider, 20 May 2020.