Note that 'must do' is the headline, and only in the subheading is it clearly not mandatory...
To support employees who are observing Ramadan, Peninsula Employment Law director Alan Price has provided some key tips for employers.Oh boy. *girds loins*
Fasting during sunlight hours will have a different effect on each individual, although the likely impact will be to lower productivity levels of employees, especially towards the end of the day.
Managers should be understanding of this and take practical steps to reduce the effect, such as scheduling important meetings early in the day or allowing employees to have a period of rest when they are showing fatigue.Great! Siestas for all! I mean, who wouldn't want to emulate the economic powerhouses that are Spain and Mexico?
As daylight hours increase, observing Muslims will be required to start their day earlier than normal to eat a meal in the early hours, before sunrise. This can lead to a substantial gap before the working day starts and the employee is likely to be detrimentally affected by a long working day. Where possible, offering flexible working hours during Ramadan, such as starting earlier, will help the employee as they will be at work during the hours they have the most energy. Additionally, it will allow them to finish work earlier and avoid strenuous mental or physical activity during the later hours of the day.Fine. But that also applies to people who are naturally early birds, doesn't it?
And what if a business's main work is done early morning? Should they hire more staff because their current ones aren't feeling up to it?
Flexibility around the employee’s duties can also be considered. For example, requiring them to attend a client lunch while fasting may not be appropriate. Instead, consider whether the location of the meeting can be amended or agree that food will not be served.So you'll inconvenience Joe, Susan, Parvin, Vilkas and Yoshi so as not to upset Mohammad?
Employees who observe Ramadan may submit requests to take a substantial amount of holiday over the month.And who'll do the work, if there's a holiday rota and everyone else booked theirs first?
Colleagues are often an employee’s greatest support at work. Fasting and fatigue during Ramadan can affect the employee’s personality, however, by making them short-tempered or irritable. To increase understanding across the workforce, employers can provide employees with general information on Ramadan, the religious requirements and how this may affect fellow members of staff."Sorry you got a punch on the nose, Bob, but you see, it's not a disciplinary matter, because it's Ramadan'. "
Simple steps like suspending cake mornings for a month can also help employees feel more comfortable.Not the ones who like cake, it won't!
From my cold dead hands, chum!
You know, I think I liked Alan Price better when he was warbling about his dancing bear...
H/T: SackTheJudge via Twitter