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Human Resources Office

Department of Engineering

Studying at Cambridge



A guide for Admin support staff

This page covers aspects of Centaur, the Department's time management system, specific to admin support staff. The Centaur homepage contains general information about Centaur and links to the guides for other staff groups.


Completing the timesheet

The timesheet, in-out times and times attributable to Projects should be completed on a daily basis. Changes to a week's timesheet can only be made up until midnight on the following Monday after which it is automatically submitted to the Centaur line manager for approval. The Centaur line manager must then check it, sort out any anomalies and then formally submit it. Following submission, changes can only be made by Centaur Administrators and only under well defined circumstances allowed by the auditors.

The extent to which the total hours attributed to Projects must account for all the hours worked (from the in-out times) is up to the Centaur line manager but in general the match should be reasonably close. Groups therefore need to have an appropriate Project to which otherwise unattributable time can be charged. For this purpose each division has its own divisional support project.


Recording leave

Leave can be booked by visiting the Leave tab. The value given at the top of the leave page is the number of days that the user has left for the current leave year. Before booking leave it must be agreed by line management and then a request official created by selecting the half days from the leave page

When leave is booked, Centaur sends an email to the Centaur line manager specified on the leave request page. They will then either approve the leave or reject the request. In both cases Centaur emails the person requesting the leave to tell them the outcome. All types of leave should be booked into Centaur.

Sick leave or other types of leave that might be entered retrospectively can be entered by inserting the correct code into the relevant timesheet, if such a timesheet is still editable. The user may still visit the Leave page to notify the selected Centaur line manager

The calendar shows as 'leave' those days on which the Department is closed, and public holidays on which the Department is either closed or operating on a 'Sunday' basis. Sometimes people are asked to work on these days (usually one of the May Bank Holidays) and their Centaur line manager should make the necessary changes in Centaur for this and to allocate the compensating time in lieu or payment.


Centaur keeps track of the hours worked and flexitime leave taken and advises if too much or too little flexitime is being accrued. Centaur Line Managers need to monitor this and ensure that people keep within the limits.


Project list

Each group of admin support staff has its own list of projects. Where a user is a member of another groups eg the 'EPSRC' Centaur group, they will also be presented with the project list selection for this group.

Where required most admin support staff simply need to select the project corresponding to the work they are doing from the drop-down list on the timesheet and fill in the hours worked against this. If there is any doubt about which project to use, they should check with their Centaur line manager. Similarly the Centaur line manager can advise what detail if any is needed in the Task field on the timesheet. This is likely to be more relevant to longer running or larger projects where a number of distinct tasks may be involved.

A group's list of projects is maintained by the Centaur line manager and possibly the Division's administrative staff. Advice for these people on creating new projects is provided on the project page.

Charging to externally funded cost centres

Wherever possible, time should be accounted to Projects from whose cost centres actual income can be obtained, i.e. primarily research grants and other externally chargeable work but only where these have funds for clerical time in pooled labour or staff costs. It is therefore important to ensure that time is being recorded to an appropriate project and, if no appropriate project exists, that one is created. Where someone is directly funded by a Research Council, certain criteria must be satisfied in way such time is recorded - see the Research page for details.

Further questions

Please search the Centaur FAQs before contacting .