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Yamato to stop taking early afternoon delivery requests, adopt 'interval rule'

The labor and management divisions of parcel delivery giant Yamato Transport Co. agreed on March 16 to eliminate an early afternoon delivery request slot and introduce so-called "interval regulations" to make sure employees get a certain number of hours off between working days, it has been learned.

    The agreement, which came as part of the annual spring labor offensive, focuses on measures to reduce the labor burden on Yamato employees, whose harsh working conditions have recently come under the spotlight.

    Under the accord, the company will abolish the delivery request time zone of 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. by the end of June, introduce interval regulations starting October to give drivers at least 10 hours' break between their working days, and curb the acceptance of delivery requests during busy seasons.

    By getting rid of the 12-2 p.m. delivery period, which is less popular among customers than other time periods, the company aims to make it easier for drivers to take lunch breaks. Furthermore, the popular delivery request time slot of 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. will be expanded to 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in an attempt to ease drivers' burden of rushing between delivery points. The deadline for accepting requests for redelivery will also be moved up by an hour to 7 p.m. starting April 24.

    The company will also review its business contracts with major clients, such as online shopping giant Amazon Japan, in order to curb the acceptance of parcels for delivery during the year-end and other high seasons.

    Yamato was recently slapped with a correction advisory for violating the Labor Standards Act over unpaid overtime at a branch in Kanagawa Prefecture in August last year. In response, the company launched a nationwide survey on its employees over their labor conditions. However, at this year's spring labor offensive, the company did not specifically respond to the issue of unpaid overtime.

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