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Celebrating Faith and Belief at DWP in April

Category: ramadan in workplace, faith initiaties, jewish, Easter, faith & belief, Faith & Belief Forum, Religious Celebrations, Religious beliefs, Faith, Faith & Culture, Flexible Working, Government, Jobs in Government, Religion, UK Government, ramadan, islamic, religious networks, Vaisakhi, islam, month of ramadan, flexibility, DWP, Department for Work and Pensions, British Muslims, Visibly Muslim, Sikh

Religious Beliefs

Starting the conversation on faith and belief - Civil Service

This April is a month of filled with many commemorative dates and festivals to celebrate, so we want to take a moment to reflect on these and pass on our well wishes.

Firstly, we would like to share some words about Ramadhan from our colleague Aysha Malik, who is the DWP Muslim Network Lead:

The blessed month of Ramadhan is here (can’t believe it has been nearly a year!) but this year since 2019, it will not take place against the backdrop of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Last year Ramadhan started around 24 April and, as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle (which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar), it will start earlier every year. This year it is expected to start on Saturday 2 April and end on Sunday 1 May. As the commencement of Ramadhan is confirmed by moon sighting, these dates may vary by one or two days.

So, what is DWP doing to support Muslim colleagues throughout Ramadan? DWP encourages Muslim colleagues to speak to their line managers about any specific leave requests or adopting a different working pattern during this time.

DWP strives to create a supportive atmosphere and show consideration for fasting colleagues in a number of ways such as:

  • Being prepared for fasting colleagues to work slightly different hours
  • Remember that fasting is not easy. It takes considerable discipline and commitment and may beginning to affect concentration, mood, and energy levels towards the end of the day.

Non-Muslim colleagues can join the DWP Muslim Network for its Annual Fast-a-Thon. We request as many colleagues as possible take part in a fast on this day to put yourselves in the feet of your Muslim colleagues. The DWP Muslim Network also organise a number of events to mark Ramadhan, as well as having colleagues share their thoughts and personal stories.

- Aysha Malik

Easter is another key religious holiday in the month of April, and DWP recognises the importance this holiday for our Christian colleagues as it commemorates the rising of Jesus after three days. DWP has an active Christian Network who play a key role in increasing awareness of Christianity throughout the organisation.

Finally, here at DWP we want to wish to all those in the Sikh community a Happy Vaisakhi on the 14th April and a Happy Passover or Chag Pesach Sameach over 15th – 23rd April to the Jewish community. 

At DWP, we understand that Faith and Belief are important aspects of our personal identity. We believe that it is important to foster an inclusive and safe environment that provides colleagues of faith and belief to have a sense of belonging, which allows them to be authentic and ensures they have a voice in their team and in our organisation.

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