skip to content

Research Operations Office


Published on Fri, 04/11/2022 - 13:41

The European Commission requires grant holders to keep documentary evidence of absences as a requirement of Article.18 in the Annotated Model Grant Agreement (AMGA)  

“Information included in time-sheets must match records of annual leave, sick leave, other leaves and work-related travel.”  

This means that documentary evidence must be kept in addition to an individual’s timesheet. Recording absences in a timesheet alone is not considered sufficient evidence, because auditors are required to cross check the timesheets against the absence records.


What has changed?

Fundamentally, there have not been any changes in terms and conditions since the launch of Horizon 2020. However, each time we cannot provide documentary evidence relating to staff absences, auditors declare this an exception.  The Commission looks at exceptions with greater scrutiny and therefore asks for further evidence which increases our risk that declared costs on grant will be rejected or ineligible.  


What records needs to be kept?

There needs to be of record of absences (annual leave, sick leave, other leaves and work-related travel) for all staff requiring timesheets on EC-funded projects, including the Principal Investigators. The records can be digital or paper based.   


Who should hold the record of absence? 

The record of absence should not be maintained by the person who requires the timesheet. Ideally, a Department will have a centrally-kept record of absences taken by all staff that is separate from the timesheets (evidencing time spent on the project).

Previously, where a separate record of evidence has been missing, the University’s auditors may accept a PI’s personal records of absences such as Outlook calendars. However, this has been on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that Departments keep official absence records for all staff on timesheets including Principal Investigators.


What are the next steps?

The Research Office is in continual dialogue with its auditors and is working with the Commission to ensure there is mutual clarity around documenting absences. If you have any queries, please contact the ROO Compliance Team or ROO EU Team Please refer to our website for additional information about staff costs & timesheets, training presentation by LEES auditors and financial audits.