Guidance for managers and staff

This year the observance of Ramadan and Eid celebrations may continue to be impacted by Government restrictions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The restrictions could impact on who is able to take part in daily fasting, working from home arrangements and participation in communal prayers and meals.  

Many Muslim staff could be working from home during Ramadan, which may be beneficial in some ways to those fasting but could also present challenges. Managers are advised to demonstrate flexibility to current working from home practices.  Allow employees to have regular breaks for afternoon prayers and allow for flexible working hours (i.e. an early start, working through lunch and an early finish) during this period if requested. The Muslim Council of Britain have provided tips for working and studying from home during Ramadan and COVID-19 Guidance for Muslim Communities.

  • Muslim staff and students will manage their own observance of Ramadan.
  • Be aware and open to discussing Ramadan and what support or adjustments Muslim staff would like.
  • Observance may vary between individuals due to health, travel and other personal circumstances.
  • Members of staff may request leave over this period, for example, to work half-days and/or shorter working weeks to enable them to observe Ramadan. Other Muslim staff may request more flexible working arrangements. Leave requests are also likely to be made to enable staff to celebrate Eid with their families at the end of Ramadan. These requests should be managed in line with all existing University HR policies.
  • Students may request time off at Eid as well. This should be managed through conversations with students themselves and any impact on assessments should be considered.
  • Managers may wish to consider their meeting times over this period which enables the contribution of most staff.
  • Managers are advised to demonstrate empathy, sensitivity and understanding to balance supporting our staff to manage their Ramadan commitments, alongside ensuring we meet all our business needs.