Staff costs

Staff costs must be related to the project activities and the responsibilities of the staff member concerned. Salary costs include salary payments and other costs directly linked to salary payments incurred and paid by the employer (such as employment taxes and social security including pensions) in line with the employment contract, work contract or other document.  

Payments to natural persons working for a project under a contract other than an employment or work contract may be assimilated to salary payments. Such a contract shall also be considered to be an employment document. Both the employment/work contract and an appointment decision /contract of natural persons working for the partner organisation and receiving salary payments are hereinafter referred to as ‘employment document’.

Staff costs can only be related to individuals who work on full-time or part time assignment with a fixed percentage for the project. Eligible staff costs are the gross employment costs actually incurred by a beneficiary, as registered in the accounts and proven by employment documents and payslips. There is no obligation to establish a separate working time registration system. Persons who work only a limited time in the project, such as field workers for 3 months during summer or someone who is employed for only one day or even only one meeting is seen as “full-time”.

Examples of calculations:

The total monthly salary costs (gross salary and e social contributions) for 100% is as an example EUR 5 000.

A) Eligible cost for a full-time assignment is EUR 5 000

B) Eligible cost for a part time assignment with a fixed percentage of 60% is EUR 3 000 (i.e 5 000 * 60%)

The fixed percentage should as a main principle cover the whole project duration. However, provided it is justified due to changes in tasks or responsibilities of the employee, the percentage of working time on the project may change. The fixed percentage should be established in advance, when a person is starting to work in the project.


Examples of supporting documents for the verification of expenditure

Salary costs shall be verified by an employment document while employment taxes and social security including pensions may also be verified by law and standard practices in the country or the organisation where the individual staff member is actually working, and which is not recoverable by the employer from other sources.

  • employment document or any other equivalent legal agreement that permits the identification of the employment relationship with the partner’s organisation;
  • job description (providing information on responsibilities related to the project (if not included in the employment document);
  • document setting out the fixed percentage of time to be worked on the project per month (if not specified in the employment document or job description);
  • payslips or other documents of equivalent probative value;
  • proof of payment of salaries and the employer’s contribution;