For those organisation that have staff taking part in Ramadan this month and would like to develop a supportive culture, here is part of the Project 507’s Leave Arrangement Policy that we would like to share with you.
We included a ‘Special Leave’ section because in the UK religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas are already included into our schedules, so wanted to allow additional time for others to celebrate important events without it coming out of annual leave, Eid being an example of this.
Flexibility in work schedule for those who are fasting is also important, this is to incorporate prayers or additional prayers into the work day, and to give the option to have a shorter lunch break and leave earlier.
Please also remember that we, who run our businesses, are responsible for being proactive in our search for knowledge and developing authentic cultures of understanding. During the next 30 days I would recommend that you take some time to deepen your understanding of Islam and Ramadan, you may have colleagues that wish to share their knowledge with you but do not rely on others to inform you. Difference should be embraced and used as an opportunity to learn.
Employees are entitled to up to 2 days paid special leave per calendar year to use for events, celebrations, house moving etc. It is for an employee’s Line Manager to approve such leave, and whether this will be on a paid or unpaid basis. Such a decision can only be made after being acquainted with the reason for the request and considering this in light of the needs of Project 507.
If an employee wishes to take leave in order to observe their faith on days other than bank and public holidays, time off can be taken from their holiday entitlement or special leave entitlement with prior agreement of their manager, as outlined in the Requests section, above. As with any holiday requests, as much notice as possible should be given. There is no automatic right to time off in these circumstances, but we will try to ensure that religious groups are not disadvantaged when requesting holiday at important or special times.
If a period of unpaid extended leave is required for religious reasons, an employee should discuss this with their line manager, giving as much notice as possible. We will consider all requests but ultimately any decision will depend on the needs of the organisation.
If a period of fasting is being adhered to, we encourage employees to inform their manager of the observance and, if required, to request any flexibility around start and finish times for this temporary period. There is no automatic right to flexibility in these circumstances, but we will try to accommodate requests where possible.
***Our Policies and Procedures were developed with HR consultants and are in accordance to relevant legal frameworks.
Please feel free to share any improvements that could be made on the above or additional ways those taking part in Ramadan can be supported at work.