News & Events News News in Brief Spring 2018 Workplace stress leading to mental health problems for middle managers A new CIPD survey of 6,000 UK workers, looking at quality of work indicators, has highlighted a problem with the UK’s overworked middle managers, more than a third of whom indicated they have more work than they can deal with, and with 28 per cent saying that their mental health was suffering as a result. For other employees, work quality and satisfaction improved fairly continuously as workers move up the workplace hierarchy, with those in senior leadership positions finding their work particularly enjoyable and low-stress. Overall 64 per cent of workers reported feeling satisfied with their jobs, but for 11 per cent of workers their work made them feel miserable on a regular basis. Hermes drivers launch legal action in latest ‘gig workers’ case A group of eight Hermes couriers have launched a legal bid at an employment tribunal in Leeds to see their access to workers’ rights such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage recognised. At present Hermes couriers are categorised as self-employed, but a number of similar ‘gig economy’ firms such as Uber, City Sprint and Pimlico Plumbers have already faced adverse rulings by courts and tribunals saying that they have been miscategorising workers as self-employed and unfairly denying them employment rights. Tim Roache of GMB commented that “GMB’s courier members do a tough job – working long hours with unrealistic targets. They make a fortune for companies like Hermes, the least they should be able to expect in return is the minimum wage and their hard-fought rights at work.” The Uber and Pimlico Plumbers cases are currently awaiting appeal verdicts with a ruling by the Supreme Court in the latter case expected shortly. New study points to dangers of employee monitoring technologies A US study published in the Harvard Business Review has shed light on some of the hidden costs for the growing management penchant for employee monitoring technologies, including CCTV, keylogging software and trackable ID cards. Despite often being introduced for innocuous reasons, the researchers found that such technologies have a tendency to “spiral out of control” as employees engage in “invisibility practices” to avoid the sense of constantly being watched and deal with the sense that their managers are less interested in engaging with them as individuals. This would in turn further heighten paranoia and suspicion on the part of managers that employees were trying to escape their monitoring, leading to even greater levels of surveillance.