With the upcoming month of Ramadan employers in the UK may expect that some of their employees will observe the obligatory fast during the sunlight hours. Fasting involves abstinence from food, drink, chewing and smoking from dawn till dusk. At dusk, Muslims traditionally break their fast with dates and water before proceeding to eat a meal.
Some of the Muslim employees that observe the fast may want to request a change to their working hours during Ramadan, from 12th August until 12th September 2010. This means that the employee may want to start and finish their working day early to cope with the tiredness associated with fasting. This may be a welcome arrangement, not only for many employees observing the fast during Ramadan but also for the employers who can ensure that the employee is given support to carry out his or her job to the full capacity.
Typically, a Flexible Working Policy is designed to help ensure that employers comply with the obligations imposed on them by law, in respect of their employee’s right to ask for flexible working hours.
Some Flexible Working Policies can also provide employers with the option of exceeding their legal obligations, if they wish to, by granting the right to request flexible working to all employees.
While some people never request special treatment when they observe a religious fast, an employer may want to confirm this arrangement in a Flexible Working Decision Letter.
Would your Flexible Working Policy cover such request or would you deal with this on more informal level?