Ramadan is a worldwide month of fasting observed by Muslims in the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. Ramadan will next fall on the 16th May 2018 until the 14th June 2018.
Muslims avoid eating or drinking liquids between daybreak and sunset. There are exceptions for the ill, diabetics, breastfeeding mothers and other groups who may suffer in health terms by fasting. The pre-dawn meal is called the suhur and the meal eaten at sunset which breaks the fast is known as iftar.
The fast will vary in length in accordance with daylight hours depending on the time of year when Ramadan falls. The longest day of the year in the UK in daylight terms is June 24th and when Ramadan falls close to this employers should be aware that Muslim employees are going without food or drink for very long periods and should consider how this might affect them. Consideration should be given to the safety aspects of fasting and the increased likelihood of dizzy spells and fainting which may affect employees working with heavy machinery.
Suggested policies for employers with staff observing Ramadan
- Avoid working breakfast and lunch meetings;
- Consider allowing Muslim employees to skip lunch breaks in return for an earlier finish;
- Ask other staff to show consideration when eating food and drinking around those observing Ramadan;
- Don’t require Muslims to attend evening work functions so that they can break the fast;
- Allow Muslims to take time off for Eid which falls at the end of Ramadan.
Tom Street qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has over 20 years experience in employment and litigation law. He studied law at the University of Manchester before undertaking the legal practice course at the College of Law in Guildford, going on to complete his legal training at a firm in Chancery Lane, London. Once fully qualified, he moved to a niche litigation practice in the City of London.
In 2010, Tom set up his own legal practice, Tom Street & Co Solicitors and as part of this, in accordance with his strongly held objective to provide everyone with an easy pathway to justice he established the online portals Do I Have A Case? and Tribunal Claim. These websites are trading names of Tom Street & Co Solicitors.