DUBAI // A maid who left a fevered three-year-old girl home alone and absconded has been sentenced to one month in prison.
Dubai Court of Misdemeanours last week found the 42-year-old Filipina MP guilty of endangering the life of a child, absconding from her sponsor and working illegally.
MORE ON UAE MAIDS
EDITORIAL: More enforcement on labour contracts Still more news about exploitation of some foreign workers highlights yet again the need for vigorous enforcement of sound laws to protect working people. Read article
Recruiters cheat maids into taking less money Home country recruitment agencies are signing up women for UAE jobs on agreed salaries, only to offer them a much lower salary upon arrival. Read article
Killed maid was abused regularly, witness tells court A woman accused of beating her maid to death had a long history of mistreating her household staff, a court has been told. Read article
She was also fined Dh1,000 and will be deported after serving her prison term.
At about 7am on March 16, RS, 37, the child's Jordanian mother, left for her job in Dubai Media City.
Her daughter, who was suffering from fever, nausea and cold, was left in MP's care.
RS told prosecutors that when she arrived at her office, she called home to check on her daughter but no one picked up the telephone.
"She answered me on the fourth time and said my daughter was sleeping," RS said.
A few hours later, RS said she received a text message from her maid's number, reading: "Madam, sorry for this, now you go home to check [your daughter], I need to do this, I'm in the airport to go home to the Philippines, I'm now inside the plane."
RS tried calling back but the phone was turned off, she said.
When she called her home, eventually her daughter picked up the phone, sobbing.
"I rushed home immediately," RS said.
She found the front door key on the ground and the door locked.
She opened the door, attended to her daughter, then discovered that MP and her passport were missing. RS called police.
Five months later, MP was arrested on August 31 in Mall of the Emirates. She said her mother had died in March and she had tried to attend the funeral.
"I asked my sponsor to give me my salary so I could go home but he refused," MP told prosecutors.
MP said she gathered her belongings as the child slept and headed to the airport.
"There were no bookings available so I went to a friend in Al Barsha, where I stayed and worked for a family to cover for my needs," she told prosecutors.