Partner Susan Thompson comments on measures employers should take to support their staff during Ramadan, in ICAEW.
"At all times, employers should facilitate an atmosphere in which their employees feel comfortable being open with them, on a confidential basis if preferred, about their religious practices. Employers should not assume that all Muslim employees will be observing Ramadan or that those who are fasting will want the employer to make special arrangements for them. Employers must be open to discussing with their employees the impact Ramadan may have on them.
"It’s important to ensure that all employees are considerate and open to their colleagues fasting (and indeed religious practices generally). Employees who are in management positions should be particularly mindful of their colleagues’ religious practices, particularly those at more junior levels.
"One measure employers could consider permitting for Ramadan’s duration is flexible working. This can include an earlier start time, a shorter lunch break or extra breaks for prayer. Employers should also seek to accommodate annual leave requests where appropriate.
"If an employee works a shift pattern, employers should seek to accommodate employees' preferences where possible, for example so that an employee can finish work in time to break the fast at sunset."
Susan's comments were published in ICAEW, 21 March 2023, and can be found here.