Guidance to staff for Ramadan

Ramadan 2021

This year’s Ramadan will begin on Monday, 12th April and last for 30 days.

As an ambulance service we are committed to providing high quality care for all our patients and supporting our staff. This includes showing understanding, compassion and sensitivity towards working with diverse communities – especially in the month of Ramadan.

There are a number of things to consider in the workplace throughout Ramadan:

  • Observing Ramadan may be noticeable (for example not eating at lunchtime), so it is often sensible for employees to inform their managers of the fact they are fasting.
  • Fasting may affect people in different ways (for example some people may understandably become a little irritable or slightly tired at times) and some understanding from managers and colleagues can be helpful.
  • The effects of fasting may be felt most strongly in the afternoon so it can help to use the morning for meetings and perform routine tasks later. Ramadan can also be particularly challenging in the summer months as the days are longer.
  • If you are working as part of a crew and are observing Ramadan, a sensible approach should be taken. Consider if it might be better to avoid driving the ambulance in the afternoon and make sure that you communicate well with your colleagues so they are aware of any physical issues you may have due to the potential for fatigue or irritability.
  • Although breaks should be kept, a shorter lunch may make it easier for an employee to manage their workload if they wish to take time off to carry out additional prayer or worship.
  • Colleagues may want to avoid offering food and drink to those who fast if sharing food with other colleagues, or eating during meetings.
  • In certain years, a considerable portion of annual leave may be used by employees wishing to observe the Ramadan rules. Where the leave timings can be accommodated, it is also important to ensure an employee has adequate leave days available for these needs.
  • Awareness and understanding of Ramadan and other religious festivals can be aided by posting information on staff notice boards or newsletters etc.
  • Ramadan may offer an opportunity for closer team relations and teamwork - for example by avoiding cakes / biscuits during a team meeting.

The NHS has a diverse workforce. Line managers, supervisors and colleagues should be aware of key advice relating to Muslim colleagues who may be fasting during the month of Ramadan. NHS England have published guidance for NHS workers, which you can read here.

You can also access the guidance, new resources to support Ramadan vaccine messaging and peer-to-peer support on the new Vaccine Equalities Connect and Exchange Hub.

If you would like to find out more about Ramadan, please read our article from the Multi-Faith network.

Published 9th April 2021