Only used a reputable nanny recruitment agency!

Extracted from –

When she decided to get back to work after her maternity leave, Afsari Karol had not expected that finding a nanny for her son would be an uphill task.

Having heard horror stories about domestic help stealing or murdering employers, the Saki Naka resident approached a registered agency in Mulund that promised a background check and an assurance that they would find a replacement if the maid quit within a year.

“The agency made tall claims about their services. I realised that they were frauds as soon as I paid a commission of Rs 5,000. Several weeks and numerous phone calls later, they sent me someone who left within a month. Now, six months, later I still am waiting for a replacement,” said Karol, who works as a quality control officer at a pharmaceutical company in Vikhroli.

For an increasing number of working parents with young children and no support network in the city, finding reliable domestic help is only getting harder. There is also a risk of being conned by fraudulent agencies and individuals.

“I thought approaching a manpower consultancy would be a better idea than hiring a maid through word-of-mouth. But I was wrong,” lamented Sion resident Yusuf Munshi, who contacted three different agencies across the city but was duped every time.

“One of the agencies said the maids don’t want to work for people of a certain community while another kept me on hold for nearly a year, after which they expected me to pay more money if I wanted to continue with their non-existent services,” complained the BPO employee, who has a young daughter, a working wife and an ailing mother at home. In the end, none of the agencies could find a maid for Munshi and they refused to refund the money he had paid as commission.

Agencies that claim to provide full-time housemaids, nannies or nurses have mushroomed across Mumbai in the last few years. They demand anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 for their services that include recruiting, training, counselling and doing background checks on the domestic help. Disgruntled customers all over the city reveal that though the agencies promise several things, none of them fulfil their obligations. Some are even known to change telephone numbers and shut shop after collecting commission from unsuspecting clients.

“It’s not easy finding and recruiting unskilled labour. There are costs of running an office. Sometimes, we end up not delivering what we promise. But we try our best to match the domestic help with the requirements of the employer,” admitted Kinnari Shah, an executive of a Kandivali-based agency.

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