MP Zainal Bin Sapari suggests S'pore employers give Muslim men time off for Friday mosque prayers

He said he doubts that the concession will be abused.

Tanya Ong | July 17, 2019, 04:42 PM

Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Zainal Bin Sapari recently took to Facebook to share his views on how employers can be more accommodating towards their male Muslim employees.

Male Muslim employees should be given time off on Fridays

Zainal wrote that he has been approached by male Muslim workers who have had difficulties getting their company to allow them to go for Friday prayers.

In his post, he said it would be "much appreciated" if employers could grant male Muslim workers time off between 12:30pm to 2:30pm to go to the mosque.

He explained that this is because the official prayer call varies between 12:50pm to 1:20pm, and mosques would start to get full about 10 to 15 minutes before the prayer call.

The entire session, according to him, would take around 45 to 50 minutes.

Hence, it would be "reasonable" for the employee to report back for work by 2:30pm.

Photo via FB/Zainal Bin Sapari

Flexible work arrangements

In his post, Zainal stressed the significance of Friday prayers, stating that it is "obligatory" for all male Muslims, unless they are unable to do so due to certain reasons, such as illness or inclement weather.

However, he clarified that staff should also "make up for the loss in company's time" by coming to work a little earlier, or leaving later in the day.

He also said he doubts that such concessions would be abused, citing the importance of mutual trust between employers and employees.

"Some time off... will definitely keep their morale at work high," he added.

Here's his Facebook post:

Top photo via FB/Zainal Bin Sapari