Supporting your employees during Ramadan..

Ramadan is now well underway, and fasting during the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk is one of the obligatory five pillars of Islam. This can make it challenging for people who are working during Ramadan.

I was lucky enough to be in Malaysia one year, I stayed in a hostel ran by a family who were observing Ramadan, it helped me to gain a deeper understanding of what was involved and they welcomed my sensitively worded questions. I was invited to go with them to the vibrant night markets for provisions for them to break the fast after sunset. The fast is broken by Iftar, this involves the coming together of families and members of the community to eat together and is followed by Taraweh prayers during the night. 

One of the best things an employer can do during Ramadan is to be flexible.

Consider flexible working hours wherever possible for fasting employees to ensure they can keep fatigue at bay. For example, avoiding  9am meetings gives fasting employees the opportunity for enough sleep.

The end of Ramadan is marked by the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr. Eid is a big celebration, but due to the exact date of Eid being confirmed by the sighting of the moon it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly which day to take off to celebrate, so a degree of flexibility in holiday processes may be required once Eid day is announced.

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