Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar and is expected to begin around Wednesday June 6th* . In the UAE, employees are provided time off during work shortening the working day by 2 hours, this is for both Muslim andNon-Muslim employees.
In Islam, work is is held to such a high standard that it is considered an act of worship itself. Rather than talking to you about the benefits of fasting or Ramadan, I want to talk about giving people their rights in the workplace.
As an employee you are not entitled to be less productive during Ramadan, and as an employer you are not legally allowed to force Muslims or non-Muslims to work regular (usually extended and uncompensated hours) during Ramadan.
Here’s a quick guide:
A note to Muslims:
Fasting during Ramadan isn’t about starving yourself, far from it! It’s basically a spiritual and physical detox in all aspects of your life including work; it’s about trying to be the best version of yourself, whether that’s refraining from office gossip, trying not to use expletives in your daily vocab or simply praying on time Try to exercise self-control, be kind to others and being patient with your colleagues.
Also, please do not ‘Starve and Stuff’ or stay up late this Ramadan, you have a responsibility towards your employer and colleagues to be as on ball as possible
A note to Non-Muslims:
Ramadan isn’t only about not eating in the workplace. Please try to help support your non-Muslim colleagues by not swearing in front of them, including them in workplace gossip or otherwise distracting them.
Your colleagues are fasting so that they can focus on being the best form of themselves and that means they should be focusing on thinking positive thoughts, giving others the benefit of the doubt, extensive worship and increasing charitable deeds.
Also, please try to be more conservative with your attire and behavior during Ramadan.
A note to Managers:
Be flexible, your employees may not be at their most productive this time of year communicating with your employees and help them prioritize their tasks.
Since Muslim employees are meant to strive to better themselves, workshops may be a good way to keep productivity high while also hitting your retention targets.
Have a Ramadan policy in place which tackles eating in public, office wear, a revised code of conduct and maybe even an introductory training session on the UAE laws in place during Ramadan.
For more reading click here.
If you have to give only one piece of advice to your colleagues during Ramadan (regardless of what creed they follow) what would it be?
Mine would be “Work to give everyone peace”.
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