3 min

Rights, obligations and code of conduct

As tenured staff, trainee civil servants and contractual employees of INRAE, you benefit from a particular status that comes with various rights and guarantees as well as certain obligations.

Updated on 02 January 2020

illustration Rights, obligations and code of conduct
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Rights of permanent and contractual staff at INRAE

Principle of non-discrimination

This is the principle of equal eligibility to join the civil service. Any discrimination based more particularly on race, state of health, handicap, beliefs, philosophies, opinions or sex is forbidden.

Freedom of opinion

Freedom of opinion entails respecting the ideas and private life of each member of staff. However, this freedom must be exercised in keeping with the obligation of neutrality and the principle of secularism, as well as the obligation of discretion.

Union rights

The principle of freedom of association includes the freedom to establish trade unions - in accordance with the labour law - as well as the guarantee of non-discrimination with regard to union members or non-members. Union membership cannot be taken into consideration with regards recruitment, promotion, assignment, and more generally, the status of the members of staff.

Right to strike

Jurisprudence recognises the right of civil servants to strike. This right must, however, be exercised within the legal limits.

Right to remuneration

Civil servants are entitled to remuneration in exchange for services rendered, which includes salary, residence allowance, and compensation as set out in legislative or regulatory texts.

Right to paid leave

Each year, civil servants are entitled to paid leave of which the duration is laid down in regulatory texts.

Right to continuing training

Since 1st January 2017, civil servants have access to a Personal Training Account (Compte Personnel de Formation - CPF) to promote access to professional training.

Statutory obligations of permanent and contractual staff at INRAE

Obligation of neutrality

Civil servants must not affirm their political or religious preferences and must not accept any differentiation in service rendered to users according to such convictions.

Obligation of professional secrecy

As custodians of information relating to or of interest to private individuals, civil servants are bound by professional secrecy laid down in the criminal code.

Obligation of professional discretion

This obligation aims to protect the administration against the disclosure of information regarding the workplace such as facts, information or documents that civil servants may encounter while performing or in connection with their duties.

Obligation of discretion

This concerns the expression of the civil servant's personal opinions. It does not pertain to the content of the opinions but the way in which they are transposed in speech, in writing or in actions. The obligation must be respected in and outside the workplace.

Obligation to follow orders

Civil servants must obey the orders of the competent superior authority and must be loyal when performing their duties. The obligation to follow orders requires compliance with all laws and regulations.

INRAE's professional ethics charter

The evolution in the working environment of research teams has brought to light major challenges in terms of cooperation, including internationally, linked to the need to work together, but has also resulted in greater tension brought about more particularly by the competitive nature of the activities and individual logic which develops within research institutions.


The professional ethics charter for researchers, endorsed by INRAE, provides guidelines for all members of staff. The charter details what is expected in a rigorous, fair scientific approach and recalls the general sense of the missions entrusted to researchers in addition to the individual responsibilities of each employee at collective level.

INRAE's scientific missions and programmes require staff to handle animals, plants, pathogenic micro-organisms, toxins, etc. for experimental purposes. Some of these activities are subject to official regulations, particularly in terms of prior authorisations or accreditation and the need for self-contained facilities, good laboratory practices, and staff accreditation. The institute also has a biosafety policy with which each member of staff must comply.

Learn more

New employee handbook

The new employee handbook was designed to give you more information about how our Institute is organised and its inner workings. Each chapter was written to help you make the most of the many opportunities offered at INRAE.

02 January 2020

Paid leave and working hours

This section provides information on the number of days of paid leave you can take as well as work cycle options.

02 January 2020