5 min

A good work-life balance

To favour a positive work-life balance (private, professional and community activities, etc.), INRAE can offer arrangements and services to facilitate the organisation of your work, support your family events and provide access to holidays and leisure and sports activities.

Updated on 07 August 2023

illustration A good work-life balance
© AdobeStock

Work cycles and leave

If you work full time there are two options that take into account how work is organised. Your chosen option impacts the amount of additional paid leave (RTT) days you will receive. Your options are:

  • 36-hour-week cycle: you will receive 30 days of annual leave,
  • 38-hour-40-minute-week cycle: you will receive 30 days of annual leave plus 15 days of RTT.

You have the option to request that your job be a part-time position. You can ask to work 50%, 60%, 70% or 80% of full-time hours. Your leave is reduced based on your working hours and the number of days worked per week.

Part-time work status is automatically granted (i.e., it cannot be refused by the administration) in the following situations: for the birth of each child up to age three, or the adoption of each child for three years following the child’s arrival in the home; to care for your partner, a child or a parent with a disability requiring a third person to be present or who has been the victim of an accident or serious illness; if the civil servant has a disability.

In all other situations, part-time status is granted depending on the department’s needs and may be refused.

Remote working

To take account of changes in society and respond to the aspirations of staff who are looking to improve their work-life balance, INRAE offers opportunities for remote working.

Remote working means the voluntary and regular organisation of work where functions that might have been carried out by a staff member in the centre to which he or she belongs are completed off the premises, either at home or via a remote working platform.

In principle, remote working applies to all professions and all functions.

Eligible activities are defined on a case-by-case basis by the staff members themselves in agreement with the Unit Director and team leaders, based on a remote working application made by the staff member.

Remote working is based on voluntary choice by the staff member. It cannot be imposed on an staff member. Similarly, a staff member cannot force his or her structure to accept it.

Support for parenthood


INRAE ​​offers to its employees various services linked to childhood and the family. In particular, institute pays a family salary supplement that varies according to the number of dependent children.

In addition, there are devices intended to promote the maintenance of the professional activity of parents who wish to do so and to harmonize their family and professional life.

INRAE ​​also takes care to support parents during difficulties related to the child's illness or disability.

Leave and authorisations for absence

Features Description
Maternity leave

For a first or second child, the period granted is 16 weeks, six of them before the expected birth date and ten after. For a third child, leave of 26 weeks is granted, eight before the expected birth date and 18 after. For multiple births, however many children are already present in the family, the duration of leave is 34 weeks for twins and 46 weeks for triplets or more.

As from the third month of pregnancy, you may be granted a reduction in your working hours: a maximum of one hour per day.

Paternity leave and birth of a child

Paternity leave has a maximum duration:

- 11 consecutive days in the event of a single child;
- 18 consecutive days in the event of multiple births.

This leave can be added on to the 3-day period of birth leave.

Leave for adoption 

The length of this leave varies depending on the number of children you are adopting and if you already have other children:

- you are adopting a child, after which you will be responsible for one or two children: you can benefit from 10 weeks of leave;

- you are adopting a child, after which you will be responsible for at least three children: you can benefit from 18 weeks of leave;

- you are adopting several children, however many children you already have: the length of your leave will be 22 weeks.

Parental leave If you are the parent of a child aged 0 to 3 years, the duration granted is 6 months, renewable, up to the third birthday of the child.
Right to part-time working If you wish, you can request part-time working, which is granted following the birth of a child and runs up to his or her third birthday, or after each adoption for the three years after he or she joins the family.
Care of sick children or temporary childcare needs

If an occasional health issue or childcare issue occurs when you have children up to the age of 16 years, you can request periods of absence up to the following limits:

- 6 working days a year for full-time staff,

- 12 working days a year for staff members who have sole responsibility for a child, whose partner is seeking employment or whose partner does not benefit from paid periods of absence for this reason.

This leave is not a right, so is subject to agreement from your head.

Parental presence leave

Parental presence leave can enable you to cease your professional activities if a particularly severe illness, accident or disability affects your child and requires the essential long-term presence of his or her mother and/or father to provide continual care.

The duration of parental presence leave is a maximum of 310 working days over a period of 36 months.

Participation in the costs of child care and leisure activities

Features Description
Childcare CESU

INRAE can offer its staff members financial support with the care of children below the age of six years, in the form of Universal Employment Services Cheques (CESU). 

The CESU is a prefunded payment voucher that can pay all or some of the costs of care for children below the age of six years, either at home or externally

> Contact : actionsociale@inrae.fr

Grants for children’s holiday activities

The Institute may participate in the cost of activities for your children below the age of 18 years; for example, activity centres, field trips, skiing trips, holiday camps, language study holidays, educational holidays, etc.

The value of this grant is calculated depending on your income and that of your partner, according to a household allowance system determined by INRAE.

> Website Adas-INRAE (in French)

Allowance for disabled children's parents

You have a disabled child with a disability rate of at least 50%, two types of allowance of a fixed amount can be allocated to you in the following cases:

- If your child is under 20 years of age and you receive the special education allowance paid by the Family Allowance Fund (CAF) of your place of residence

- If your child is 20 to 27 years old and is studying or on an apprenticeship contract: monthly payment at the rate of 30% of the monthly basis for calculating family benefits

> Contact : actionsociale@inrae.fr

Enfants à vélo

Help with access to leisure, holiday and sports activities


Each INRAE Centre has a local ADAS-INRAE office that organises sports and cultural activities on site, on a daily or weekly basis, at midday or in the evening or in the context of community events.

Some of our Centres have fully-equipped sports halls and outdoor facilities (shared with other organisations) so that you can attend courses or practice your favourite sport: gym training, yoga, table tennis, zumba, tennis, etc. An annual subscription for these facilities costs €10, while different courses are proposed at very attractive rates.

Depending on your Centre, you can also take part in a variety of cultural activities or handcrafts, such as photography, singing or needlework, or become involved in debates and discussions during book groups or language lunches. 

Every four years, the sports and cultural Adayades enable several hundred staff members from all horizons to meet at a venue in a relaxing atmosphere that enables the expression of all talents.

Vacancy benefits

Holidays voucher

Holiday vouchers can be used throughout the year for your weekends, holidays and leisure anywhere in France. INRAE adds a bonus to savings made by the staff member. A rate of 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% or 30% is determined depending on taxable income.

Holiday vouchers can be used to pay approved service providers for expenses covering the following:

- Accomodation: campsites, hotels, holiday villages and clubs, holiday camps, holiday rentals.
Travel and transport: train, plane, ferry, coach, travel agencies, car hire, etc.
- Culture and discovery: m
useums, amusement parks, zoos, shows, planetariums, aquariums, etc.
- Leisure sports: o
utdoors activity centres, go-karting, bowling, ski rental, treetop adventure course, ice skating, etc.
- Restaurants: bars, 
traditional restaurants, fast-food restaurants (not takeaways).

> Contact : actionsociale@inrae.fr

Holiday accommodation and preferential ticket rates

ADAS-INRAE offers a catalogue of more than 160 different types of accommodation (campsites, holiday villages, apartments, etc.) by the sea, in the country or in the mountains. You are subsidized depending on your household income.

You can also have access to reduced-price tickets for the cinema, theatre, museums, amusement parks, etc.

> Website Adas-INRAE (in French)


You have access to a reduced rate ticket office for the purchase of your cinema, show, museum, amusement park tickets...

> Get closer to your local ADAS-INRAE ​​chapter​​​​​​​


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