Saturday 27 May 2017 is the first day of the Muslim month of Ramadan in most Islamic countries.
The month of Ramadan will last for 28 days, though the exact end date may be dependent on sightings on the moon in some countries.
During Ramadan Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, pray and give to charity. Its observance is a fundamental part of the Islamic faith. Exemptions are made for the sick, children, the elderly and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The start of Ramadan moves forward in the western calendar by about 12 days every year. Currently, in the northern hemisphere, Ramadan takes place in the summer and covers the period when the daylight is at a maximum.
This means that means that the daily fasting period is at its peak, so please be considerate when working with employees or dealing with clients and customers who are observing Ramadan.
We suggest the following:
Under Labour Law, the normal 48 hours per week (based on a six day week) limit for all workers is reduced to 36 hours per week during the month of Ramadan.
Under Labour Law, working hours are reduced by two hours each working day during the month of Ramadan. The two hours can be reduced from any part of the normal working hours and apply to all employees, irrespective if they are Muslim or non-Muslim.
In 2017, Ramadan is expected to end on 24 June, and the first day of the next month is marked with the festival of Eid al-Fitr. This is a widely observed public holiday in many Islamic countries. It may also mean that non-Islamic countries with large Islamic populations may receive a lot of requests for leave on Eid, so employers should be prepared on how to deal with these requests.
As a helpful guide, on our country calendars for countries that have large working populations observing Ramadan, there is a notice reminding you that Ramadan is currently in effect.