How to calculate personnel costs in Horizon Europe

Companies often struggle with calculating personnel costs, mainly due to the very specific Horizon Europe rules and formulas that need to be applied when declaring personnel costs in a HE – funded project. Consequently, it is also the most common field for potential mistakes that can cause problems during the audits.

In this article we share with you important information that may be useful to avoid errors when calculating personnel costs.

Understanding the basic rules

In Horizon Europe, personnel costs are calculated on a daily rate basis.

The basic formula to calculate personnel costs is the following:

Daily Rate x Days worked in the project

What is the eligible Daily Rate and how to calculate it?

This is done by taking the salary for the person over the months falling within the reporting period and dividing it by 215*.

Daily rate = salary from reporting period /215*

*assuming that the reporting period lasts 12 months and the person works full time

The personnel costs are limited to salaries, social security contributions, taxes, and any supplementary payments made to employees under national law and benefits schemes paid by the company.

This amount needs to be divided by 215 days, which is fixed by the EC and cannot be changed. 215 days is the maximum number of days the company can declare per year per employee. In case of part-time work, the pro-rata of 215 must be taken for the calculation.

Hence, the key here is to identify correctly:

– the total eligible salary components for a particular employee working on the project and

– his/her total productive days for the period.

Why do you need to record the working time?

Once you have the daily rates calculated, you need to multiply them by the days working on the project to get the personnel costs.

To prove the number of days the employee worked for the project during the period, you need to produce timesheets or declarations for days worked for the project.  If you need some advice on how to implement the time recording system for your Horizon Europe project, please check our article Time Recording System in Horizon Europe.

Each employee and collaborator should register days per month and per Work Package he/she worked on. Finally, you should also keep in mind the thresholds and always make sure that the total number of days declared per person is not higher than the number used for calculation. In addition, in the financial statement, details on person-month effort must be provided.

As you can see, there are several points you need to keep in mind when reporting personnel costs in Horizon Europe. If you are still unsure how to calculate personnel costs don’t hesitate to contact our experts at We will help you get it right.