Ramadan is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar, and is considered a holy month by Muslims across the Globe. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Its commencement is based on the sighting of the crescent moon and this year it is expected to be on or around 24th April 2020.
During Ramadan, Muslims practice/exercise self-control, by abstinence from food and drink during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset). It is also a time for prayer, perspective spiritual reflection and togetherness.
It is essential for Employers, to consider from a practical and legal perspective; how to manage business continuity and performance as well as cultural/religious, health and well-being sensitivities during Ramadan and the, out-break of COVID 19.
- Forward Planning – 48 hour ‘working time’ week will be reduced, planning ahead will ensure that customer demand business, performance, and employee needs will not be impacted.
- Encourage Communication – open and honest communication, is always advised from a business perspective. Employers to understand employees, individual’s situation and their commitments (fasting, family, work, etc.)
- Flexible Working Hours – whilst working hours are reduced, employees, may also require some adjustments to their working routine/shifts in order for them to meet their commitments.
- Annual Leave – employees may wish to take their annual leave. If requests clash with other coworkers, work towards a solution which is mutually beneficial. (rather than dismissing requests altogether).
- Ramadan Policy outlining transparency and appropriate standards of behavior to avoid offending any coworkers observing Ramadan.
In light of the Global Pandemic, Muslims this year will need to do their part in order to combat the spread of COVID 19. Adapting to different ways of worship; from live streaming of prayers or recitation of the Quran, virtual Suhoor (meal before sunrise to remain in good health for fasting fast for the day) and Iftar (evening meal at sunset for breaking daily fast). Muslims can continue to practice their faith and maintain the essence and spirit of Ramadan
Wishing Friends, Family, Colleagues and Business Partners around the globe observing Ramadan, a blessed and peaceful month.