UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Which Boss Are You?

Press Release   •   Feb 18, 2010 08:50 GMT

SME bosses can get instant tailored advice on managing their employment law obligations with a free new online tool from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The launch of the tool ‘Which boss are you?’ follows a BIS study that found there are many different ways bosses manage their obligations.  Some are confident and tackle it head-on whereas others admit to putting off their obligations and worry about how this might affect their business.

The study also identified four clear ‘types’ of behaviour in relation to how bosses manage employment law. The quick and confidential new tool allows bosses to discover which type of boss they are and then provides them with the advice that is most relevant to help them develop.

Bosses are identified as one of the following four types:

1.      Starting Out – 33 per cent of those surveyed. Broadly unaware of the obligations they have as an employer.

2.      Focused on Business – 19 per cent of those surveyed. Aware they have obligations but feel they are not confident in actioning them and have other priorities to deal with.

3.      The Delegator – 13 per cent of those surveyed. Understand obligations but feel it is someone else’s role to ensure they are actioned.

4.      Covered and Confident – 34 per cent of those surveyed. Understand their obligations, act on them and makes use of free guidance where possible.

Employment Relations Minister Lord Young said:

"We know that running a small business is both challenging and rewarding – and that this combination often fuels a successful enterprise. The essential job of managing employment law need not be one of these challenges.

"This study helps us identify the knowledge gap, and the reasons behind this, to enable us to continue to improve the advice and support we offer. I expect all small businesses to access this help for free on the Business Link website to make sure they know their responsibilities."

The tool is an extension of the range of free tools and guidance already provided by BIS on the Business Link website as part of its Employing People campaign.

All SME employers using the tool before the end of February can enter a draw to win a masterclass with YO! Sushi founder and original TV Dragon, Simon Woodroffe.

Three bosses will be selected and invited to jointly meet Simon and put questions to him on how to develop their business success. The two-hour masterclass will be held in London on Thursday 11 March.

Simon Woodroffe said:

“BIS consistently shows it is keen to listen to small businesses and provide them with relevant help. This new tool will help employers to understand more about their obligations and how to manage them themselves with confidence. Doing this could also make employers more confident in other areas of their business and reduce money spent on unnecessary external consultants.”

SME case studies

Glen Berd, founder,

“Many employers would like to think they are in control of their obligations but this new tool identifies if this is the case and how to develop specific areas. I deal with staff issues myself as I consider it a majorly important aspect of running a business.  It’s also very important to keep up with changes in the law, which the Business Link site enables.”

Nick Taylor, director, Areolives:

“It’s a busy year ahead for us, with a number of major retailers looking to take on our new lines so we have found resources such as the Business Link website invaluable for free and simple advice – we have just used one of the tools to update everyone’s employment contracts.

“Which boss are you? is very useful. The tool gave me some relevant tailored advice to develop my management even further and I am looking forward to implementing these.”

Notes for Editors

1) Use the tool at

2) ‘Which boss are you’ is an extension of the range of free tools and guidance already provided by BIS on the Business Link website as part of its Employing People campaign. These can be found at

3) The study was conducted in January 2010 by YouGov amongst 312 owners of businesses with between one and 49 employees.

Notes to editors

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.


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