Twice a year, Muslims around the world celebrate the festival of Eid. The first being Eid al-Fitr which occurs at the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims have been fasting from sunrise until sunset for 30 days. One important thing to note about Eid is that although we know it comes at the end of Ramadan, we need to sight a specific moon first. Once this moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, then we know that Eid is the next day.
The second being Eid al-Adha which occurs later in the year and means ‘feast of the sacrifice.’ It is celebrated just over two months after Eid al-Fitr, at the same time when many Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage and is generally considered the holier of the two festivals.
With Ramadan coming to a close, Muslims will be celebrating Eid Al-Fitr (henceforth Eid). This is an occasion where Muslims dress up, eat a lot of food and give money to charity. This is all done after a long month of fasting. Here at Thrive, to learn more about the celebration, we will be doing our own Eid party in the office next week with the whole team. One important thing to note about Eid is that although we know it comes at the end of Ramadan, we need to sight a specific moon first. Once this moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, then we know that Eid is the next day.
With all this in mind, it’s worth considering how you acknowledge certain religious occasions in your workplace.
As with any religious occasion, people are less likely to want to be spending the day at work and so having a look at your holiday procedures is essential. Your staff handbook should outline holiday booking procedures. For example, I made Jodie aware that Eid was going to fall on one of two days and so from the beginning of Ramadan, when I was changing my hours, I knew that I would have to take a holiday within that week. If your company is bigger and has an online booking system for example, is this the best idea for people who don’t know when Eid will be?
Religious occasions in your workplace
We think it’s important for all workplaces introduce initiatives to encourage participation in their employees’ religious occasions. This can be anything from a lunch to a full-on meal out. We’re having an Eid lunch including traditional dishes and learning about how Muslims celebrate. We will also be posting on social media to acknowledge this with our followers and so it’s worth noting if your business is active on social media, to post about religious occasions that are taking place.
Giving to charity is a big thing in Eid and Ramadan and we usually give money for meals for people in third world countries or refugee camps for example. If your workplace donates money to charities, it might be worth asking your employees where they would like to donate each month or introducing a special donation initiative for Eid.
At Thrive, we are big on diversity and inclusivity. Although Eid is celebrated by the minority, it is nevertheless important to make employees feel welcome by acknowledging and celebrating this festive occasion.
Why not begin by introducing a small initiative such as a special Eid team lunch as you would around the Christmas period?
It is also important to make sure your staff handbook includes up to date policies on religious holidays and how employees can take holidays. This is also important when seeing if a company is indirectly discriminating staff by having one holiday available but not the other. Your policies can be reviewed by one of the members of our legal team. To find out more information on how we could help with this, contact us today.
Read more about Religious discrimination.
Eid Mubarak from the Thrive Tribe!