Cookies galore

The European Union have decided that we have to pester every user with a statement about the cookies we use. As of tomorrow we will have a banner stating all this and we will have updated our privacy policy document accordingly.

What Brussels in their infinite wisdom has not realised is that modern sites use cookies to offer functionality to users, rather than spy on their personal details. Without those cookies most websites, including, will fall flat on their face. They simply won’t work anymore. This legislation ranks highly, together with the Can Spam act in the USA, on the list of not particularly thought through or useful pieces of law making. All this does is create red tape, annoyance and a poor user experience. And it does not really help anyone.

Anyway, to please the pen pushers in Brussels, here’s our cookie policy:

How uses cookies on its websites

We use cookies and similar tools across our websites to improve their performance and enhance your user experience. This policy explains how we do that.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. Web beacons or other similar files can also do the same thing. We use the term “cookies” in this policy to refer to all files that collect information in this way.

There are many functions cookies are used for. For example, they can help us to remember your username and preferences, analyse how well our website is performing, or even allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.

Certain cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to “remember me” when logging in, a cookie will store your username. Most cookies won’t collect information that identifies you, and will instead collect more general information such as how users arrive at and use our websites, or a user’s general location.

What sort of cookies does use?

Generally, our cookies perform up to four different functions:

1. Essential cookies

Some cookies are essential for the operation of our website. For example, some cookies allow us to identify subscribers and ensure they can access the subscription only pages. If a subscriber opts to disable these cookies, the user will not be able to access all of the content that a subscription entitles them to.

2. Performance Cookies

We utilise other cookies to analyse how our visitors use our websites and to monitor website performance. This allows us to provide a high quality experience by customising our offering and quickly identifying and fixing any issues that arise. For example, we might use performance cookies to keep track of which pages are most popular, which method of linking between pages is most effective, and to determine why some pages are receiving error messages. We might also use these cookies to highlight articles or site services that we think will be of interest to you based on your usage of the website.

3. Functionality Cookies

We use functionality cookies to allow us to remember your preferences. For example, functionality cookies provide you with enhanced services such as allowing you to comment on a blog post.

4. Behaviourally Targeted Advertising Cookies and our advertisers use cookies to serve you with advertisements that we believe are relevant to you and your interests. For example, if you read a number of articles on work permits on or on other sites, a legal service provider might conclude taht you are interested in this topic and serve you with its legal service advertisements. You might see these advertisements on and on other sites that you visit. However, we do not tell our advertisers who you are.

Does anyone else use cookies on

Advertisers sometimes use their own cookies to provide you with targeted advertising. For example, advertisers may use a profile they have built on sites that you have previously visited to present you with more relevant advertisements during your visit to We believe that it is useful to our users to see advertisements that are more relevant to their interests. If you are based in the European Union and would like to learn more about how advertisers use these types of cookies or to choose not to receive them, please visit If you are based in the United States and would like to learn more, please visit

We also use or allow third parties to serve cookies that fall into the four categories above. For example, like many companies, we use Google Analytics to help us monitor our website traffic. We may also use third party cookies to help us with market research, revenue tracking, improving site functionality and monitoring compliance with our terms and conditions and copyright policy.

Can a website user block cookies?

As we’ve explained above, cookies help you to get the most out of our websites.

The first time you accessed our website after 27 June 2012, you should have seen an overlay which explained that by continuing to access our site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Please remember that if you do choose to disable cookies, you may find that certain sections of our website do not work properly

Do we track whether users open our emails? does not track whether users open email we sent. We only send out confirmation messages when people register an account. That is the only time you can expect a system generated email.

More Information

More detail on how businesses use cookies is available at

If you have any queries regarding this Cookie Policy please contact our Privacy Officer by e-mail
This document was last updated on 27th June 2012.


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