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This year, I've been delighted to have our employees from our Multicultural network share with us how we can better support our employees who are fasting during Ramadan and help celebrate and be inclusive of traditions at RG. 

We have a very open and inclusive culture at Reward Gateway, which means we welcome and encourage our people to share how we can be better allies. This includes being better allies to Muslim colleagues during Ramadan. 

Our hybrid, flexible work culture means that individuals celebrating can choose where they feel they'll be most energised and focused during their fasting. Whether at the office or home, it allows employees to adjust their hours during Ramadan to accommodate their celebrations.

With continuous conversations between employees and their Managers via 15Five, employees can let their Managers know when they're fasting and how they're feeling each week so both their Managers and the team can be patient and understand that they're fasting and how this might affect them. We appreciate that fasting can be challenging and share our support with online programmes that can help break caffeine and sugar addictions alongside mindfulness programmes.

"My tip for managers and employees who have a fasting colleague is to be patient and understand that the individual is fasting. Colleagues should be mindful that those who are fasting behaviours might change. For example, an individual might become quieter or be tired. It could be beneficial to ask those fasting if you can help them and be there for them, as everyone's experience while fasting is different."

At Reward Gateway, our CEO chose to share in the celebration by fasting during the last ten days of Ramadan from dawn to sunset. To do so means waking up pre-dawn for a 'Suhoor' meal and drinking water. The fasting itself is more than just a focus on food. During the day, you exercise more patience and kindness and do something nice for colleagues, friends, or family members and at sunset, you can break the fast.

Our Support teams work various shifts, which means they may be working when they break their fasting. For most Muslim people, Dates are often the first food to eat after long hours of fasting. They are great balancers for blood sugar levels, and the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also ate them. So, if our Experience Managers are aware of employees that may break their fast while on shift in the office, we can ensure we've got plenty of Dates in the office to eat.

During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to give to charity and help others in any way they can. On boom!, our engagement platform, employees can use our Reward Marketplace to donate their recognition awards to a charity of their choice. We have thousands of Non-profit organisations' employees can support via Global Giving.

We provide every Employee with three days of volunteering leave that Muslims can use during Ramadan to give back to charity and provide several suggestions for opportunities to volunteer remotely or on location with their chosen charity. We also added an eCard to our platform to allow employees to send “Eid Mubarak,”, “Blessed Eid” and celebratory Ramadan messages to one another - you can check out our design in the image attached at the top of this blog! 

The first and the last day of Ramadan are dependent on the sighting of the moon. 

After Ramadan ends, there is a celebration called Eid al Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr features two to three days of celebrations that include special morning prayers. People greet each other with “Eid Mubarak,” meaning “Blessed Eid”, and formal embraces. Sweet dishes are prepared at home, and gifts are given to children and those in need. 

It is essential for us to understand that our Muslim employees do not know when Eid will be; therefore, we acknowledge that Muslim employees may book annual leave to celebrate at short notice, which is okay. It's all part of being a flexible, supportive employer.

What else did we learn?

While we don’t currently have rooms at our office specific for prayer, our Muslim employees shared that it would be helpful to know the direction of Kabaa from the office, so it was easier to understand which way to face when praying. We can display the sign in meeting rooms that offer the most privacy and little distraction. 

The sign can be permanently displayed, providing better information for Muslim employees 365 days of the year.

If you’d like to learn more about our inclusive culture, please visit our careers website, where you can find more information.

Catrin Lewis

As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.

Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications