What you should consider while Working in Ramadan Period

For Muslims today is a special day. In the evening begins the Islamic month of fasting Ramadan . It ends on the 4th of June. Until then, Ramadan means for the faithful: Between sunrise and sunset may not be eaten or drunk. For those affected, this is anything but easy. Voluntary deprivation does not just cause hunger. Fasting also affects job and performance. What effects workers and employers have to expect during Ramadan and how they can handle it optimally ...

Ramadan: Between religious freedom and service contract
The Basic Law initially states (Article 4 (2) of the Basic Law): "The freedom of faith, conscience and freedom of religious and ideological confession are inviolable." In this context, even more important: "The undisturbed religious practice is guaranteed."

In the civil code in turn is (§ 611 Abs. 1 BGB): "The service contract, the one who promises services, the performance of the promised services, the other part committed to the agreed remuneration." So an employee has his work - so as enshrined in the service contract - to provide.

Religious freedom and the duty to work - these two norms are diametrically opposed in Ramadan. If no food is consumed between twilight and sunset, the performance decreases - following the natural sciences .

Especially after dark, the more eaten and consequently less slept .

In Ramadan, there may be a drop in performance
Thus, in many occupations and activities with physical and mental impairments can be expected. That can be:

difficulty concentrating
Circulation problems
Higher risk of accidents at work
Of course, this also depends on the type of employment. In the office , Lent is more likely to cope with than at the construction site .

A bookie who fasted during the day? Imaginable. A surgeon who does not eat a bite while working and does not drink a drink of water? Irresponsible.

Labor Law: What is true in Ramadan?
Labor Law: What is true in Ramadan?On the one hand, employees are obliged to follow the instructions of the employer . If they do not do so, they may be warned or even dismissed .

In addition, German employment law provides the maxim: no wages without work. If an employee can not work because of the Lent, the fee payment obligation will be canceled .

But: If an employee does not comply with the instructions of his employer on grounds of freedom of belief and conscience, the courts will, in case of doubt, judge the freedom of religion and the employer's freedom of occupation. Here is a ruling of the Federal Labor Court in 2011 pointing the way: a termination is so - if, for example, an employee fasts without permission during Ramadan - difficult to enforce.

The employer also has a duty to use the employee during Ramadan so that he can exercise his faith . If this is not possible and the employee continues to refuse, termination may be justified. So it always depends on the individual case .

Workers: That's what Muslims can do
Those who want to keep Lent as an employee with all the consequences, should discuss this with his employer . Just start Ramadan and confront the company with the facts - that's not an elegant solution.

It is better to start with the interview with supervisor (and colleagues) to point out the problem.

Also consult your doctor or company doctor to determine if the workload without food intake is actually achievable.

Probably the simplest solution: put your annual holiday into the time of Ramadan. The reduction of overtime can also be a (partial) solution.

If you fast, you reduce your own performance and possibly force your colleagues to make up for it. Consideration is not a one-way street.

The more you enlighten your colleagues, promote your understanding and ask for help, or even step in - for example, by making sure that your colleagues are free around Christmas - the better the atmosphere and the working atmosphere.

Employer: How bosses should react
In principle, employers can be expected to pay attention to cultural-religious sensitivities. In addition, the question arises: why religiously motivated breaks and absenteeism should not be allowed, but smoker breaks already?

In addition to the solution already mentioned that sufferers take their annual leave or reduce overtime in time, employers should find the most pragmatic solutions possible .

For example: The employee can night shifts take over, night work serve or refinish coatings . The interim assumption of another, lighter activity is also in question.

But beware: There could be a legal catch here - the so-called suspicion of preferential treatment .

The General Equal Treatment Act states that Muslim employees should not be better off than other employees. So better not throw the entire shift or roster just because it's Ramadan. That would not be in the sense of equal treatment and would arouse the rest of the workforce - not without reason - envy .

It's best to address the issue in general and find solutions that will do justice to all the faiths gathered, whether Catholics, Orthodox, Jews or Hindus (and of course, atheists).

Take care and look for solutions for Lent ? Absolutely. At the same time, equal rights apply to all.

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