Thursday, October 3, 2013

Regulations and Rules To Be Followed During Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which all Muslims must observe fast by abstaining from eating and drinking between dawn and dusk. The Sultanate of Oman has formulated regulations to be followed during the holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan working hours

  • RD No. 113 of 2011, amended Article 68 of the Labour Law (promulgated by RD No. 35 of 2003), thus reducing the maximum working hours during Ramadan to not more than six hours a day or 30 hours a week for all Muslim workers.
  • The Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court and Chairman of the Civil Service Council, issued a decision declaring that official working hours at ministries, public authorities and other departments of the state's administrative apparatus during the Holy Month of Ramadan for the year of 2013 will be reduced to 5 hours per day i.e. from 9am to 2pm.
  • The working hours in the private sector during the Holy Month of Ramadan for the year of 2013 have been reduced to six hours per day and (30) hours per week, according to a ministerial decision issued by the Ministry of Manpower.
  • The Central Bank of Oman issued a circular on 3 July 2013, declaring that the official working hours for all licensed Banks in the Sultanate of Oman during the holy month of Ramadan will be from 9 am to 1 pm.

Guidelines for Non-Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan
  • Drinking and eating in public during the holy month of Ramadan is considered discourteous in Oman. All restaurants and cafes are closed during the day and they re-open only after Iftar i.e. after sun set. Thus Non-Muslims should refrain from smoking, eating or drinking water and other beverages in public places during the hours between dusk and dawn.
  • It is advisable for Non-Muslim employees to eat food/drink water or other beverages discreetly, at their desks, out of sight of Muslim employees or in a canteen or in a separate designated room or at their homes. No food or drink should be provided during meetings. Muslim employees should not be required to attend business lunches during Ramadan.
  • Employers should ensure that business meetings and training sessions for Muslim employees are shortened or postponed until after Ramadan.
  • During the holy month of Ramadan, the Non-Muslims should adhere to modest dress code and their behaviour should be empathetic and courteous towards the Muslims in general.
  • The companies operating during non conventional working hours, such as shift working, should make provision for suitable breaks for the Muslim employees to enable them to take their meal at the time of Suhoor and Iftar.