Why Is Eid Not A Public Holiday? Here's How It Could Actually Work

·3-min read
Eid-Al-Fitr doesn't fall on a set date – making booking time off work tricky. (Photo: Songyuth Unkong / EyeEm via Getty Images)
Eid-Al-Fitr doesn't fall on a set date – making booking time off work tricky. (Photo: Songyuth Unkong / EyeEm via Getty Images)

Eid-Al-Fitr doesn't fall on a set date – making booking time off work tricky. (Photo: Songyuth Unkong / EyeEm via Getty Images)

As the holy month of Ramadan ends (might we interest you in our Ramadan series while you’re here?), Eid-Al-Fitr will soon be celebrated by Muslims around the world.

But as it doesn’t fall on a set date – Muslims follow the lunar calendar so Eid depends on the sighting of the moon – it can be difficult to book the time off.

Without Eid being a public holiday in the UK, Muslims are either forced to take the celebration as annual leave or simply work through it.

But people are raising the question online again:why is Eid not recognised as a holiday, for those who celebrate it? Especially now there is an increasing focus in the workplace on diversity and inclusion.

After all, thanks to public holidays, we get time off for Easter and Christmas in the UK, despite most people not identifying as religious.

You might wonder about the logistics of it all, but some companies like Monzo seem to have got the right idea.

The bank offers its employees the chance to opt out of regular public holidays such as Christmas, Easter etc and reallocate their holiday to another time such as Eid or Diwali.

So isn’t it time others follow suit? People on Twitter are wondering the same thing.

Thankfully, Eid-Al-Fitr this year falls on either a Sunday or the May Bank Holiday meaning Muslims in the UK will get the day off regardless.

But the same can’t be said for Eid-Al-Adha, the second Eid of the year that Muslims celebrate, or Eid in subsequent years.

Plus, Eid is a three-day celebration that usually gets reduced to one when Muslims have to return to school and work.

Even if it weren’t made a national a public holiday, employees could take a leaf out of Monzo’s book and give staff the option of swapping their holiday days.

Just something to think about.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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