Uber Eats Japan, the Japan-based unit of the online food order and delivery platform, has reportedly halted new hires of foreign students. The move comes after allegations levied that the company illegally employed overstayers last year.

Effective 25th of August 2021, the hiring freeze is likely to impact many foreign students looking for work in the midst of the economic fallout from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A drop in the number of employees could bring about a reduction in the quality of service, in spite of the escalating demand for food deliveries amid stay-at-home requests of the government.

Back in June 2021, the police cited Uber Japan Co. and two of its erstwhile personnel to prosecutors for allegedly recruiting two overstayers of Vietnamese origin as food delivery employees, in violation of the immigration control law of the country.

According to an Uber Eats Japan Inc. representative, the company had halted new recruitment of foreign students given that inspecting the status of their visa every six months in person and verifying their attendance at schools needs a lot of human resources. This, in turn, makes it difficult for the company to secure compliance, added the representative.

Foreign students are permitted to work for a maximum of 28 hours a week once they are given permission by the immigration agency. As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has forced restaurants and other part-time job providers to reduce opening hours or suspend operations, a number of foreign students are now shifting to food delivery jobs for making a living.

It is to be noted that foreign students who signed up as delivery workers for the company before the hiring freeze became effective can carry on with their work. As per the representative, foreign nationals having no restrictions on working hours, such as spouses of Japanese nationals and permanent residents, are not impacted by the measure.

Source credit: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/09/02/national/uber-eats-foreign-student-employment/