Editor's note: The month of Ramadan can be a trying period for Muslims as they try to joggle the religious and spiritual obligations with work needs.
In this Legit.ng Ramadan series, we examine how employers can manage their staff who are Muslims and help them get through Ramadan while still delivering their services.
The month of Ramadan is a period when all Muslims across the world engage in dawn the dusk fasting as enjoined by Almighty Allah.
This can be a particularly difficult period for an employer as there is the possibility of conflicting issues arising over some employees engaging in the fast.
It is highly possible that someone who is engaging in a 30 day fast might not work with the same speed during the evening or might ask to close early in order to beat traffic so as to get home in time to break the fast.
All these might cause friction in the workplace especially if the employer is a non-Muslim.
As an employer, it is important to be flexible during this period with your members of staff who are fasting as a way of not only exhibiting religious tolerance but to also build confidence and trust in the workplace.
It also sends a signal of support to the employees which can also boost their morale and foster cohesion in the workplace.
Here are things to consider and put into place as an employer during Ramadan
1. Flexible working hours
Maintaining a flexible working hour for your Muslim employee during the month of Ramadan will help to bring out the best in them as they know they have the opportunity to close earlier than usual and prepare for Iftar.
2. Working during lunch break
Some workplaces have strict rules concerning employees going on lunch breaks. While this is a good work culture, it can also serve as an opportunity for fasting Muslims to be extra-productive. Employers should therefore not force fasting employees to abide by the strict rule of taking a break.
3. Meals and meetings
Some workplaces sometimes organise meals during meetings. While Ramadan should not stop other members of staff who are non-Muslims from eating, it is advisable to schedule such programmes outside Ramadan in order to allow Muslims participate. If the meeting and meal plan should go on even during Ramadan, Muslim employees should be allowed to opt out without being penalised.
Displaying a sense of understanding can be a very good way of engaging Muslim employees during Ramadan and can make other members of staff follow suit. This can foster harmony in the workplace relieve the stress associated with fasting. Showing compassion and tolerance can also mean allow the staff to work from home on some days if possible. These attributes can endear the staff towards repaying this deed back by staying extra hours to work at a later period.
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