As a business owner and an employee, there should be an inevitable diversity in the religious observations of your employees and Islam, being one of the major religions in the world would inexorably be one of them. There have been countless cases of Muslims being discriminated in the workplace due to their religious beliefs, appearances, and practices. Of course, such acts are illegal in most countries and any wise employer would condemn any form of discrimination based on religious belief in the workplace. That’s if he/she does not want to be tangled up in legal battles that he/she will eventually lose and end up financially hurting your company or worse, giving your company a bad image.
If you do not want to be involved in all those complications, here are certain measures you can take to improve religious accommodation for Muslims in your company.
#1. Prayer breaks
Muslims are required to perform mandatory prayers (Salat) five times a day. This may be during working hours. In order to improve religious accommodation in your company, you can give them a maximum of 15 minutes to perform their religious obligations and save yourself from crippling lawsuits.
Friday congregational prayers are also obligatory and you will do well as an employer extend the lunch break for Muslims.
#2. Flexible scheduling during Ramadan (month of fasting)
This is another religious obligation for all Muslims- to fast during the Month of Ramadan from dusk till dawn, if they are capable. As an employer, you can shorten work shifts if lunch break is not taken so that they can go back home and prepare meals to break their fast with their families.
#3. Religious holidays
Muslims are religiously obligated to celebrate two annual festivals (Eid). The first one is celebrated at the end of the Ramadan and the second one on the 10th day of the 12th Month in the Islamic Calendar, which usually falls between the end of August and early half of September. You can grant them these two holidays without unwarranted penalties.
#4. Accommodating Muslim dresscodes
Islam stipulates that Muslims dress modestly. Muslim women are to wear loose clothing that does not reveal any part of their body except their face and hands. They are to cover their hair and neck with a headscarf. Muslim men are to wear clothing that covers them from the navel to the knee, some might have beards or wear a small skullcap. You, as an employer, can modify your companies dress code rules to accommodate these compulsory religious dress codes
#5. Modification of job requirements if it conflicts with religious beliefs
Muslim employers are sometimes required to perform certain tasks that conflict with Islamic beliefs. For example, having to package pork in the meat-packaging business as a Muslim conflicts with Islamic laws. Modifying the job description to suit a Muslim employee’s religious belief can go a long in improving religious accommodation in your company.
As an employer, you should make an effort to familiarize yourself with Islamic practices and of other religions to guarantee that your workplace is truly accepting of the faiths of your employees.