Ramadan is one of the most important religious celebrations in the Islamic calendar during which participants observe strict rules that include fasting from food or water between sunrise and sunset.
Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar and is a period during which participants observe strict rules that include fasting from food or water between sunrise and sunset. This year, it will start on the evening of Monday 12 April, and end on Monday 12 May.
There are over 3.3 million Muslims in the UK. Throughout the holy month of Ramadan Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours, around 19 hours. They may also pray during the night, so possibly sleeping for only a few hours.
It’s important for employers and managers to consider any possible impacts in the workplace and behind the steering wheel. Not eating or drinking during the day can sometimes lead to low blood sugar levels and dehydration. When combined with potential disturbances to usual sleep routines, it could mean that some employees may suffer from reduced concentration, tiredness, headaches and feeling lightheaded during the working day.
As part of their duty of care, it’s advisable for employers to carry out a risk assessment for anyone observing Ramadan to ensure their safety, and the safety of work colleagues and members of the public. This can be especially important where employees are operating machinery or driving vehicles.
Road safety studies show that low levels of concentration can affect our reaction times and awareness behind the steering wheel, including reading road signs, speeding, and braking. Tiredness can also be a factor in increased impatience with other drivers and road rage.
Fleet managers should be aware of these types of risks and may want to have workplace conversations around how observing Ramadan could affect driver behaviour.
Risk management may also include:
Information about Ramadan should also be communicated to non-Muslim employees to encourage a positive, supportive and safe working environment. You may also want to consider allowing Muslim drivers a few days to return to normal patterns of working after Ramadan.
QBE customers can access a team of in-house risk management experts, who can help formulate a tailored risk management approach for effective solutions and improved outcomes - including protecting employees, making claims less likely, and potentially reducing insurance premiums. You can find out more about how QBE helps businesses to manage risk at https://qbeeurope.com/risk-solutions/
Finally, a reminder that if you have an incident and need to make an insurance claim, it’s important that you report it as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Reporting a claim early can save time and help you to receive any claim payments faster.