Ramadan and COVID-19

As the first week of Ramadan fasting comes to a close, UNISON has been working across regions to ensure Muslims members are supported during this important month

Ramadan lasts from 24 April until 23 May, and is a period of abstinence, fasting and reflection. But the COVID-19 pandemic means this Ramadan will look very different for UNISON’s Muslim members, especially key workers.

Just over three per cent of the 1.4 million NHS workforce is from a Muslim background and many of those will be fasting and working at the same time.

UNISON national officer for Black members Margaret Greer said: “Many Muslim members will be observing this month’s Ramadan, while working at the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic with pressures unlike anything they would ever have experienced before.

“We recognise that Ramadan helps our Muslim members to focus their time and attention on the presence of Allah (God), however with the pandemic the separation and distances they face from loved ones will make this even harder.

“On behalf of UNISON national Black members and the wider union, we wish you all a blessed Ramadan Mubarak. Stay safe and well.”

The NHS Muslim Network and the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) have issued guidance on COVID-19 and Ramadan. The guide provides advice for managers and workers, including advice on fasting, shift patterns and annual leave.