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Working During Ramadan: Barrister Explains what Employers Must Do

With Ramadan starting on Wednesday 22nd March, Kawsar Zaman, an Employment and Public Law barrister at No5 Barristers’ Chambers explains how employers can help during the religious period.

“With Ramadan fast approaching, employers will need to start thinking about how they can help their employees during this month-long holy period. Muslims, as a religious group, are protected under the Equality Act 2010. Employers must ensure they do not discriminate against those observing Ramadan. As a result, reasonable accommodations should be explored to ensure the needs of fasting employees are considered.

“Not everyone will require change during Ramadan, as this will depend on the work and environment in question. The best way for employers to ensure productivity doesn’t drop and that religious obligations for employees are respected is to ask them or their representatives for their thoughts on what can be done to support them. Two-way communication is the best way to find reasonable adjustments.

“There are a variety of resources online to help employers navigate all religious events. The Equality and Human Rights Commission, for example, has considerable advice for those looking to accommodate religious celebrations. Talking to employees about how they can be best supported is crucial.

“Ramadan is a month of worship, devotion and community gathering. Small changes and collaborative adjustments can ensure that Muslim employees can truly celebrate their faith without it impacting their work.”

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