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Uber Eats Japan halts hiring of foreign students for food delivery

  • September 2, 2021
  • , Kyodo News , 12:39 p.m.
  • English Press

KOBE – The operator of the Uber Eats food delivery service in Japan has stopped hiring new overseas students, a company official said Thursday, after facing allegations that it illegally employed overstayers last year.


The hiring freeze, effective Aug. 25, will likely affect many foreign students looking for jobs amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. A decline in the number of employees could also reduce service quality, despite growing demand for food deliveries amid government stay-at-home requests.


An Uber Eats Japan Inc. official told Kyodo News it has stopped recruiting new foreign students because checking their visa status every half year in person and confirming their attendance at schools “requires a lot of human resources,” making it difficult for the company to ensure compliance.


In June, police referred Uber Japan Co. and two of its former employees to prosecutors for allegedly hiring two Vietnamese overstayers as food delivery staff in violation of the country’s immigration control law.


Foreign students are allowed to work for up to 28 hours per week once granted permission by Japan’s immigration agency. As the pandemic has forced restaurants and other providers of part-time jobs to suspend operations or shorten opening hours, many students from overseas are now switching to food delivery jobs to make a living.


Overseas students who registered as delivery staff for Uber Eats Japan before the hiring freeze took effect can continue to work. Foreign nationals who have no restrictions on working hours such as permanent residents and spouses of Japanese nationals are not affected by the measure, according to the official.

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