EC Timesheet Guidance
Europe Awards/EC Timesheet Guidance
European Commission Requirement
A feature of EU funding is that all staff costs must be backed up by a time recording system that shows the hours worked on each project. This usually means the completion of timesheets.
We must ensure that all staff, who are required to do so, complete timesheets monthly and that these are properly completed, submitted and authorised. Failure to do so could result in all personnel costs being disallowed by the EC.
The University uses the eTime online time recording system to produce timesheets. All staff who need to complete timesheets on EC projects will need to be given access to the eTime system. This is done by the School via eAuthorisations.
The type of Timesheet that is required differs by framework programme:
FP7 – Comprehensive timesheet
The EC's requirements for time recording in FP7 are laid out in the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues (link is external) (see p. 55).
All staff whose personnel costs or effort are charged to FP7 projects must complete timesheets, which must include all productive and non-productive time – not just the hours worked on the research project.
Please ensure that if you are undertaking EU FP7 research, you have adequate processes for time-recording in place for those staff (incl. PIs if applicable) who are to be fully or partially charged to EU FP7 awards.
H2020 – Project Hours timesheet
The EC’s requirements for time recording in H2020 are laid out in the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement (link is external) (see p. 178)
All staff whose personnel costs or effort are charged to H2020 projects must complete timesheets, which should include only the hours worked on the research project (split by work-package).
An exception to this is for staff who work exclusively on one H2020 project (either full or part time). It is not mandatory that these staff complete timesheets (although they can choose to do so). Instead they can complete a declaration on exclusive work for the action for each reporting period.
Please ensure that if you are undertaking EU H2020 research, you have adequate processes for time-recording in place for those staff (incl. PIs if applicable) who are to be fully or partially charged to EU H2020 awards.
Staff working on both FP7 and H2020 projects
Any staff working on both FP7 and H2020 projects must complete the comprehensive FP7 timesheet.
Why is this a UOE Requirement?
- To comply with the EC's requirements.
- As a means of reconciling employees’ personnel cost distribution.
- To calculate person-month effort per work package and per project to the EC as part of the periodic reporting requirement.
What is the External & EC Audit Requirement?
Verification that the work carried out by individual researchers, and other staff on research projects, is consistent with the distribution of their personnel costs and the tasks agreed under the terms of the Grant Agreement.
Information about absences included in timesheets must match records of annual and sick leave taken. Time taken for work-related travel must be supported by appropriate evidence, e.g. conference documentation, project meeting notes etc.
General Rules for Completing Timesheets
FP7 - The timesheet should reflect 100% of an individual’s time including work on other projects, absences and holidays. The proportion of time spent on the project is based on the individual’s actual productive hours.
H2020 – the timesheet should show only the hours worked on the project(s). The proportion of time spent on the project is based on average productive hours for the University (for those on standard contracts – currently 1,503.6 hours per year) or average productive hours agreed by the EC (for those not on standard contracts – currently 1,720 hours per year).
Part-time working and timesheets
If you are working part time, please make sure the hours you work reflect the percentage time that you are employed on the grant – for example if you take annual leave you should ensure that the productive hours are still split correctly as per your employment contract. Thus if you are employed at 40% of your contracted hours on a project, you should ensure that 40% of your productive hours are allocated to the EU grant. Any differences will affect the salary costs that we can recover from the EU.
Things to remember
- Complete timesheets for every month you are charged to the grant
- Record all annual leave and absences on the form (FP7 only)
- Print & sign (by both employee and authoriser - usually PI) all timesheets on a monthly basis (i.e. don’t save them up and get them all signed on the same date). Auditors need to see the forms signed & dated for each month the form is completed.
- Send scanned copies to email@example.com or upload to Worktribe when requested (usually at the end of the reporting period)
- Keep original hard copies on file.
Recent Audits of Timesheets have been very critical and their findings included:
- Timesheets missing
- Unsigned timesheets
- Timesheets not completed within 1 month
- Dates not included
All of these can result in personnel costs being disallowed.
The Principal Investigator of the research award is responsible for ensuring that timesheets are completed, approved and submitted. School Admin staff should collate and quality-check the documents on a monthly basis.
School Admin staff are responsible for:
- Management and co-ordination of the timesheets process (including collation)
- Monitoring completion and line management approval (e.g. if the PI or Co-I is a HoD, their Line Manager must approve their timesheet)
- Quality checking
For advice on completion of timesheets, using eTime or organising eTime training please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scans of completed timesheets should be uploaded to the documents tab in Worktribe or forwarded to the Post Award Team in Finance, via email@example.com.