Cookies

Our use of cookies

We want to make our services easy, useful and reliable. This sometimes involves placing small pieces of information on your device, for example your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you do not have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you do not need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier and quicker to use
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with government services so we can make them better

Cookies set by our website

These are cookies set by the Acas website (https://www.acas.org.uk) and the Acas training website (https://obs.acas.org.uk). Each of these are known as 'first-party' cookies.

__atuvc (only applicable on www.acas.org.uk)

  • Purpose: to allow us to record how many visitors are sharing our web content across social media channels
  • Benefit: to understand what visitors want to use and not to use, so we can improve the service you receive and archive what is not used
  • Data stored: unique identifier, no personal information (data is only used in aggregate)
  • Duration: 730 days

Fontsize

  • Purpose: to allow the user to increase or decrease the font size of web content through the icons at the top of the website – the cookie remembers the selection
  • Benefit: to remember your selections or preferences that you've already made when looking at information or using a service
  • Data stored: a selection between small/med/large/verylarge to indicate the font size to use on the website
  • Duration: expires when user exits browser

ASP.NET_SessionId, Clientvars, Mode, CFID, CFTOKEN

  • Purpose: these cookies are a 'session identifier', which allows the site to recognise your movement around the site as being from one computer
  • Benefit: to remember the selections or preferences you've already made when looking at information or using a service
  • Data stored: information about the session – the cookie itself contains no personal information
  • Duration:
    • ASP.NET_SessionId: expires when you close the browser
    • Clientvars: 2 days
    • Mode: 99 days
    • CFID and CFTOKEN: 30 years

cookie-agreed

  • Purpose: to record that the user consented to cookies being set by the Acas website
  • Benefit: hides the cookie banner notice once consent has been agreed
  • Data stored: information about consent confirmation – the cookie itself contains no personal information
  • Duration: 3 months

has-js

  • Purpose: to record that the browser has JavaScript enabled
  • Benefit: this will allow the website to display in the correct format
  • Data stored: information about JavaScript status – the cookie itself contains no personal information
  • Duration: end of session

Cookies that measure website use

Google Analytics cookies

We use Google Analytics to find out how people interact with our site. This helps us understand your needs and allows us to improve our services.

Google Analytics stores information about what pages you have visited, how you arrived there and how long you spend on the site. We do not collect or store any personal information used to identify who you are such as your name or address. Also, we do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

Cookies used by Google Analytics: __utma, __utmb, __utmc and __utmz

  • Purpose: to record how many people are using the Acas website and how they move around the site once they have arrived:

    • _utma tracks how many times (if any) you have visited the Acas website before
    • _utmb and _utmc are connected, and track how long you stay on the site
    • _utmz tracks identifies where you've come from, for example from a search engine or from another website
  • Benefit: so the service is available when you want it and is fast
  • Data stored: no personal information about you, just information about your computer and your browser
  • Duration:
    • _utma: expires 2 years after your last visit to this site
    • _utmb: expires 30 minutes after your visit, or after 30 minutes of inactivity
    • _utmc: expires when you close your browser
    • _utmz: expires 6 months after it was last set

For more information about Google Analytics cookies, see the Google privacy policy.

Hotjar cookies

Cookies used by Hotjar: _hjClosedSurveyInvites, _hjDonePolls, _hjMinimizedPolls, _hjDoneTestersWidgets, _hjMinimizedTestersWidgets, _hjIncludedInSample, _hjShownFeedbackMessage, _hjid

  • Purpose: to record how people interact with the Acas website and support interactive services provided through Hotjar, for example surveys, polls and user-testing recruitment
    • _hjClosedSurveyInvites is set if you interact with a survey invitation modal popup and is used to make sure the same invite does not reappear if it has already been shown
    • _hjDonePolls is set if you complete a poll using the Feedback Poll widget and is used to ensure the same poll does not reappear if you already filled it in
    • _hjMinimizedPolls is set if you minimise a Feedback Poll widget and is used to ensure the widget stays minimised when you navigate through the website
    • _hjDoneTestersWidgets is set if you submit your information in the Recruit User Testers widget and is used to ensure the same form does not reappear if you already filled it in
    • _hjMinimizedTestersWidgets is set if you minimise a Recruit User Testers widget and is used to ensure the widget stays minimised when you navigate through the website
    • _hjIncludedInSample is a session cookie set to let Hotjar know if you'll be included in the sample that's used to generate funnels
    • _hjShownFeedbackMessage is set when you minimise or complete Incoming Feedback, so that the Incoming Feedback will be minimised if you navigate to another page where it is set to show
    • _hjid is set when you first land on a page with the Hotjar script and is used to store your random user ID, unique to using the website on your browser. This ensures that your subsequent visits to the website will be attributed to the same user ID
  • Benefit: so we understand where our website might not be meeting your needs and can make improvements
  • Data stored: no personal information about you, just information about your computer, your browser and your interactions
  • Duration: 365 days

Cookies set by other websites

We want to encourage better sharing and more engaging content by making the most of social sharing and embedded videos on our site.

We use social sharing buttons via AddThis, allowing you to share our web content via email, print, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They also allow you to subscribe to our own social media channels on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

We use a number of suppliers who may also set cookies on their websites on our behalf, which are known as 'third-party' cookies. These cookies are placed to ensure that all of them work effectively allowing better sharing of Acas advice.

Cookies used by Helpline Online: cookievalue

  • Purpose: to record how many people are using the Helpline Online system and how they move around the site once they have arrived.
  • Benefit: to understand what visitors want to use and not to use, so we can improve the service you receive and archive what is not used.
  • Data stored: randomly assigned customer ID and a randomly assigned session number.
  • Duration: persistent cookie which expires after 1 year

Cookies used by AddThis: uit, loc, di, uid, uvc, psc and dt

  • Purpose: to allow us to record how many visitors are sharing our website content across social media channels
  • Benefit: to understand what visitors want to use and do not want to use, so we can improve the service you receive and archive what is not used
  • Data stored: unique identifier, no personal information (data is only used in aggregate)
  • Duration: all expire after 2 years except:
    • uit: expires when you close the browser
    • dt: 30 days
    • loc: 3 months

For more information, see the AddThis privacy policy.

Cookies used by SurveyMonkey: P_24684700, TS54026e, ep201, ep202 and TSc1209a (including Google Analytics cookies __utma, __utmb, __utmc and __utmz)

  • Purpose: occasionally we link from this website to online surveys created using SurveyMonkey. This is to allow you to respond to research or website user satisfaction surveys
  • Benefit: to understand what visitors want to use and do not want to use, so we can improve the service you receive and archive what is not used
  • Data stored: none contain personal information – all data is used in aggregate form
  • Duration: all expire when you close the browser except:
    • ep201: expires 30 minutes after your visit, or after 30 minutes of inactivity
    • __utmb: expires 60 minutes after your visit, or after 60 minutes of inactivity
    • __utmz: expires 1 month after it was last set
    • ep202: expires 1 year after it was last set
    • __utma: expires 2 years after it was last set

For more information, see the SurveyMonkey privacy policy.

Cookies used by YouTube: SID, HSID, SSID and VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE

  • Purpose: to record how many visitor views each YouTube video embedded on various pages of the Acas website receives
  • Benefit: when we provide links to third-party services you find useful, they might place a cookie on your device to make their service easier to use
  • Data stored: unique identifier, no personal information (data is only used in aggregate)
  • Duration: all expire after 10 years, except VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE that expires 6 months after it was last set

For more information about YouTube cookies, see the Google privacy policy.

How to control and delete cookies

We will not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you.

However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The 'help' function within your browser should tell you how.

To find out more about controlling and deleting cookies, see the guide to cookies from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Be aware that restricting cookies may affect the functionality of our website.

To view your cookie code, click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.

For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual. To opt out of third-party websites collecting any data about your interaction on our website, see their websites for more information.