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Residents facing difficulty in hiring maids from the Philippines may be able to hire one, but only if they fit the criteria, an official said.
No new Filipina housemaids have been hired directly from the Philippines since June 2014 because of conflicting recruitment rules from the UAE and labour-sending countries like the Philippines.
Both governments have started the process of negotiations in standardising employment contracts to start maid redeployment but no time-frame has been issued.
Labour Attache Delmer Cruz said families who have, at one point, hired Filipina maids but are now in the Philippines, can rehire them with no problems at all.
''There are situations when a housemaid employed in the UAE has to go home after her contract expires. If she stays there for an extended period like six or eight months or even for a year. Technically, she can still be rehired by the same employer,'' Cruz told Gulf News.
''Technically, she is still considered as Balik Manggagawa (Returning Worker). Balik Manggagawa is an exception in the suspension [of verification of contracts].''
Cruz said the employer can recall the maid from the Philippines and if she is fit and willing to work with them again, she can do so. The employer can approach the Philippine labour office in Al Ghusais to present the old verified contract, passport and visa copy as proof of former employment.
''Technically, these instances are very isolated. But they can be reconsidered as the definition of Balik Manggagawa is 'a worker can be employed again as long as he's returning to the same employer'.''
While this may not be applicable to everyone, the news came as welcome relief to Lester Rodriguez. The office administrator has been trying to hire a Filipina maid since the issue arose last year.
Rodriguez's Filipina maid went home last July for a family emergency which got extended for a few months. He has since tried recruiting new maids from the Philippines but because of the suspension of deployment, he had to go through illegal channels.
''I tried to sponsor a Filipina to fly here as a tourist and then issue her a servant visa once here. But she was offloaded three times in Manila and I ended up wasting four tickets,'' Rodriguez, 39, who has a son and a baby on the way, told Gulf News.
He has spent more than Dh28,000 over the last six months in hiring part-time maids or getting a servant visa for another Filipina who came here as a tourist. Nothing has worked out so far.
''We're on survival mode. My wife and I have been taking turns in filing for leave running a minimum of two weeks each time to cope. My wife has finished her leave allowance and both of us can't go on leave any more. Nurseries are out of the question as the kids are quite picky.''
Since his former maid is now ready to work again, he said he'll hire her back as soon as possible.
How to do it by Labour Attache Delmer Cruz
1) The employer, who once hired a maid who is now in the Philippines, needs to go to the Philippine labour office in Al Ghusais to present supporting documents: verified original contract of maid, passport and visa copy.
2) If the documents match with the labour office's database, they will endorse the employer's request to the labour office in Manila.
3) Employer will have to send via courier the original documents plus new servant visa to the maid in the Philippines.
4) The maid has to go to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to have the documents verified so she can be issued an Overseas Employment Contract, a travel exit clearance.
5) Once this is done, the maid can present these documents to Philippine immigration before boarding and she will be allowed to fly to Dubai without issues.
Did you know about the unified GCC maid contract which has been approved
Source: Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter, gulfnews.com