Dubai: Forging your certificates to get a pay hike of a few hundred or thousand dirhams or to change jobs is not worth risking your career or your life, a lawyer offering free legal advice to Filipinos has warned.
“For the past few months, we have received inquiries from employees seeking advice after being sacked for submitting false certificates on their CV,” Atty Barney Almazar, a Filipino lawyer and licensed UAE legal consultant and partner at Gulf Law, told Gulf News.
Almazar said around two Filipinos seek their legal advice every month on how to claim their end-of-service benefits after being terminated from their jobs for faking their qualifications.
Under Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law, the services of anyone who submits forged documents or certificates may be terminated without notice. His end-of-service benefits may also be forfeited. This is in addition to the criminal case of falsification of documents with a penalty of six months to up to 10 years’ imprisonment, followed by deportation.
“There’s no harm in dreaming big. But we advise that for them to be qualified, they must pursue continuing education and not opt for a quick fix. It’s not worth the risk,” Almazar said.
Juan Lopez (name changed on request) learnt this lesson the hard way. A foreman who worked in the UAE for almost seven years, Lopez is awaiting his first trial in September after buying fake transcripts of records for a college diploma in Manila, and faking the attestation and the UAE Embassy seal.
“I asked my wife to have it attested at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila and at the UAE Embassy. I didn’t know it was done by a fixer [men posing as DFA staff]. I only knew that it was all fake when I was arrested here in Dubai,” Lopez, 35, told Gulf News.
Lopez said he only forged his documents after being offered a decent paying job in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. He passed all his interviews and exams. The only thing lacking was his qualifications, which he didn’t have since he did not make it to college.
“I only wanted something better for my family. But now all my dreams have disappeared just like that,” the father-of-three said.
“If you want career growth, pursue it without resorting to illegal means. My name and dignity, my job and my life have been compromised because of it,” Lopez said.
Residents have many options to further their career in Dubai and it’s all down to doing one’s research, Jenny Gonzales, who has 12 years of expertise in human relations in the UAE, said.
“They key to your success rests on you,” Gonzales, who also worked as the former executive director of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas before coming to work in Dubai, said.
“The first thing to do is network. There are many organisations that offer free seminars on career development. Take advantage of that.”
“Improve yourself. Invest in yourself – time and money-wise. Save some for your career development and look at the long-term,” she added.