Trying times. Hanelyn with her daughter Shamim at their Al Nahda apartment Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ XPRESS

Dubai: A Filipina woman and her jobless Pakistani husband are in a spot for hiring a nanny without papers.

Hanelyn, a resident of Al Nahda, said she and her husband Muneeb decided to recruit a Filipina nanny for their nine-month-old daughter but ran into trouble when she jumped off their third floor apartment’s balcony even before giving her passport to get her visa processed.

“We met her in January and she was very courteous. We decided to take her in and get the necessary paperwork done for recruitment. We asked her for the passport and an NOC from her previous employer, but she kept delaying the matter saying she could still not procure the documents from her earlier employer.

“Three weeks flew by and the same situation continued until one evening, she jumped out of our third floor balcony,” said Hanelyn.

What followed was a veritable nightmare, the woman said.

“The police arrived on the scene after we and some witnesses called them. Upon initial investigation, it was found that the nanny was staying illegally in the UAE. My husband was detained for two nights. We were fined Dh50,000 for hiring an undocumented nanny. Both our passports were withheld and will be released only when we pay the penalty,” said Hanelyn.

Difficult circumstances

The Filipina said 12 months on, she and her husband have still been unable to pay the fine because of their difficult circumstances.

“I gave up my job as an office administrator because I had to look after my daughter. Muneeb lost his job after the company he was working with shut down. He cannot look for another job because his passport is not with him. Hanelyn said, “The authorities were kind enough to give me my passport when I appealed to them to allow me to travel back home as my mother passed away. I tried to sell our property in the Philippines to raise the money but without success.”

Clueless

She said she had no idea how the family would come out of the mess they are in. “We want to pay the fine but have no clue how we will get the money.”

Residents hiring illegal housemaids are fined up to Dh50,000 as per the UAE law which stipulates that maids should be sponsored by them or by recruiters. Depending on the case, offenders not only face fines but also deportation.