How to support Ramadan

We are now in the period of Ramadan, a period of time in the Muslim calendar which is observed by Muslims worldwide and includes a month of fasting.  Ramadan is held during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and this year and will end on June 4th.  Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting from dawn until sunset.

It is best practice to be mindful of this religious festival and consider the needs of Muslim colleagues and members of the public with whom we interact. The following may help you support your employees:

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  • Be aware that Muslims who are observing Ramadan may be awake throughout the night when they are able to break their fast, eating and drinking only after sunset. Think of what that might mean for people working for you.
  • Do not assume that all Muslims are fasting as there are of course exceptions, for example pregnant, ill, young or old Muslims are exempt if they wish. It is better (and politer) to ask rather than assuming.
  • For those who are fasting, avoid offence by refraining from offering food and drink between dawn and sunset.  How would you like to be treated?
  • Consider whether you may be able to allow flexible working arrangements for the period of Ramadan
  • Be sensitive to the fact that those who are fasting may be mildly anxious by the lack of food and liquid, especially in the latter part of the day (and even more so if we have hot, sunny days).
  • Be sensitive to the feelings of anyone who is fasting and if at all possible do please think about refraining from eating in front of them.
  • Be flexible throughout the month, things may change in how people are reacting to the fast and may ask for a change in working pattern part way through rather than pre-plan

During Ramadan, some members of the public observing Ramadan who use your services may sound additionally tired, frustrated or distressed about issues so remember there may needs to be sensitivity as they may be vulnerable at this time.   Let us all be even calmer and more considerate.

 

Weather Warning!

We have some severe weather warnings forecast for this week across different parts of the country and it is always best to be prepared. But there are some things that as a business we should have in place already:

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  1. Ensure you have an adverse weather policy in place. Implementing a policy gives you an opportunity to show how you will be dealing with major disruptions, in advance of them actually happening, giving you the time to think about how to act when things take a turn for the worse outside. Employees also understand their responsibilities and what they are required to do when the weather is affecting work and can even start to think of alternative ways into work.
  2. It is worth checking that your employment contracts compliment and add value to this policy. The last thing you want is to contradict making it difficult to take decisive actions.
  3. Consider how you will deal with absences caused by weather disruption, to pay or not must also be defined in your policy. Remember you are not obliged to pay for this, it can be classed as unpaid leave.
  4. When considering payments, think how this will reflect upon your culture and attitude towards staff and is this the best approach to take? You may already have practices in place which make it possible for staff to continue fulfilling their responsibilities even though they may not be in work. Think whether any disgruntled employees will get your reaction into the public domain
  5. Consider alternatives which may be available for your staff with their working arrangements; taking holiday instead, working from home, working different hours, making up the hours over the forthcoming weeks are all suitable alternatives to people losing money which they may not be able to afford
  6. Always think through closing your establishment. Closing the workplace where people are willing to come to work will mean that you will need to pay them for the time during which the workplace is closed.
  7. Recognise the effort people put in to attend work. How can you make this time enjoyable?
  8. Consider your Health and Safety obligations as well as your duty of care and welfare to those employed. The workplace needs to be safe as far as is reasonably practical so consider those working outside or near the cold – if the conditions get worse you may need to consider how your staff will get home

Please do not hesitate to call one of our HR Consultants on 07989 343361 or email us on info@temehr.co.uk and we will be happy to talk through with you any of the above areas. Most of all keep warm and enjoy it when you can!

Things to think about with adverse weather on its way

It is always best to have things in place to help minimise any disruption to your business. Some of our tips are

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  1. Have an adverse weather policy in place. Implementing a policy gives you an opportunity to show how you will be dealing with major disruptions, in advance of them actually happening, giving managers time to think about how to act when things take a turn for the worse outside. Employees also understand their responsibilities and what they are required to do when the weather is affecting work and can even start to think of alternative ways into work.
  2. It might be that your employment contracts already cover this area, but just double check and make sure both compliment and add value to each other. The last thing you want is to contradict making it difficult to make decisive actions.
  3. How will you deal with absences caused by weather disruption – will you pay for this absence? Remember you are not obliged to pay for this, it can be classed as unpaid leave.
  4. However, consider how this will reflect upon your culture and attitude towards staff, is this the best approach to take? Are there practices in place which make it possible for staff to continue fulfilling their responsibilities even though they may not be in work? What will this say about you as an employer if the way in which you act in adverse weather gets into the public domain?
  5. Consider alternatives, taking holiday instead, working from home, working different hours, make up the hours over the forthcoming weeks are all suitable alternatives to people losing money which they may not be able to afford
  6. Always think through closing your establishment. Closing the workplace where people are willing to come to work will mean that you will need to pay them for the time during which the workplace is closed.
  7. Recognise the effort people put in to attend work. How can you make this time enjoyable?
  8. Consider Health and Safety requirements and your duty of care and welfare to those employed . You need to ensure that workplace is safe as far is reasonably practical so consider those working outside or near the cold – if the conditions get worse you may need to consider how your staff will get home

Please do not hesitate to call one of our HR Consultants on 07989 343361 or email us on info@temehr.co.uk and we will be happy to talk through with you any of the above areas. Keep warm!

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Love is in the Air!

But how do we feel this affects our business, in particular when it comes to romantic relationships particularly in the office?

People develop relationships in all environments but, this is more likely when they spend substantial amounts of time together whether in meetings, working together in general, across teams or in the same team and there is no surprise therefore that this could happen in the workplace.

Many companies have a Relationship at Work Policy, which is great but sometimes this only encourages people to bury the relationship and for people to hide from superiors which could increase gossip and make the people involved feel uncomfortable in their own working environment which in turn could impact on their own morale and how they feel at work.

It is sometimes better to be sensible and upfront when a relationship develops in the workplace. Establish some guidelines and have a fair approach to how to manage such a delicate situation.

Also think about some relationships which may have an impact on the company’s integrity like; client and customer, supplier and contractor, manager and subordinate. There are of course ways to manage even these sensitive situations but, this needs to be clear and transparent to all employees so as to make coming forward easier for them should they be in this situation.

office desk Red heart Valentine dayThese clear guidelines make it easier for the individuals to accept any changes in working arrangements which may be needed to protect the company and their relationship. Some actions will help to maintain the fair and consistent approach which will enhance your own culture and values, remember managers must deal with situations as swiftly as possible without delay. There are additional steps that can be taken to try to reduce the risk of lawsuit by an employee who claims after a break up of sexual harassment – one of the biggest dangers of office/workplace romances.

We don’t want to be a kill joy! It’s great if relationships work out.

So, this Valentines Day we hope you and your employees have a romantic evening – whatever you do!

For more help in this tricky area call Teme HR Consultancy on 07989 343361 or visit our website Teme HR Consultancy