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FP7 Financial Info and FAQs --> Personnel Costs, Average Personnel costs, Employment issues, Students --> Personnel Costs

Can we charge for a researcher’s sick leave?

Although the hours of sickness are not chargeable time to the project, the cost of sick pay is part of the employer’s costs.  The financial guidelines state:


“Only the costs of the actual hours worked by the persons directly carrying out work under the project may be charged. Working time is the total number of hours worked, excluding holidays, personal time, sick leave, or other allowances”


The example given of annual hours is as follows:


“Total days in a year 365

Weekends -104

Annual holidays -21

Statutory holidays -15

Illness/Others -15

Workable days in a year 210”

Therefore average workable (productive) hours in a year (based on 8 hours per day) = 1,680

An example of the actual hourly rate calculation based on the employer’s costs (on an annual basis) may be:

Gross salary

60,000 (including sick, vacation etc payments)

National insurance


Pension costs


Car expenses – part of salary package and taxable


Total employer’s costs


Total annual hours – 5 days per week at 8 hours per day


Vacation hours – statutory and other (not taken full entitlement in year)


Sickness hours – not full “entailment” for year


Own time/courses - hours


Net actual annual productive hours


Hourly rate 77,000/1,736



If a researcher is ill during the time that he is working on an FP7 project, then the researcher should be paid according to the terms of his/her employment contract*. These costs are eligible to the project, but the hours are not. If sick days are paid at a reduced amount or not paid by employer, the hours are still not chargeable to annual productive time to calculate the rate per hour and the gross salary is reduced for any non-paid time (whether sickness or unpaid vacation etc.) In the end the total productive hours and project hours must be based on actual hours worked not theoretical average hours (but note that average rates per hour can be used by classification of type of personnel – see CoM)


Of course, it is still the responsibility of the Beneficiary to ensure that their technical work in the project is properly completed.


*Please ensure that the eligible cost criterion of economic is not compromised. I.e. After a point, it will be more economic for the project to hire someone else.

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