The Republic of Cameroon is a French-speaking country in Central Africa. English is also an official language. The main industries showing growth in recent years include petroleum production, food processing and lumber. The low cost of labor and abundant natural resources are considerations for businesses contemplating Cameroon and Africa as an expansion choice.
An employment contract should be written and contain the details of both parties, workplace location, notice period, responsibilities, work hours, probation period, start date and salary. The employer and employee should each have a copy. Employment contracts that require an employee to live away from their normal residence for a period exceeding three months are required to be in writing. Employment contracts regarding foreign nationals must be approved by the Minister in charge of labour. Fixed-term contracts must contain a start date and end date, are limited to two years and can be renewed once. Typically, these contracts are for seasonal workers, casual workers or to temporarily replace a permanent worker who is absent. Full-time contracts for an unspecified duration are also allowed.
The standard workweek is 40 hours. Night work occurs between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and there are 12 hours of rest between each night of work. Female employees and children cannot conduct night work, unless they are women working as executives or work outside of manual labor.
Employees receive five days of paid sick leave each year and employers are responsible for medical treatment if the employee was injured during work.
Female employees receive 14 weeks of maternity leave with four weeks before the birth, paid by social security, known as the CNPS. This can be extended by six weeks in the event of a medical problem. Maternity leave begins four weeks before the due date of confinement. If the period of confinement does not happen until after the due date the maternity leave will begin in its entirety once the period of confinement begins. Maternity leave is paid by social security at the expectant mother’s normal rate of pay. The CNPS provides for vaccinations, diet and medical consultations for the child up to the age of two. The mother is eligible for nursing breaks of up to an hour per day for up to 15 months after the birth. Fathers may take paternity time out of the 10 days of annual paid family leave.
Employees paid on a monthly basis are required to be paid no later than eight days following the end of the last pay periods. Proof of payment of wages shall be made by employers through documentation certified by the employer and initialed by their employees. It is prohibited to accept or use tender outside of Central African Francs. However, in trades where it is customary to use a different frequency of payment the minister in charge of labour can allow the use of different tender by order. Bonus payments are common and defined in the employee’s contract. Despite the commonality of paying bonuses in Cameroon it is important to note that bonuses are not legally required.
Employees accrue 1.5 days of paid vacation leave for each month worked and after five years of service, employees receive a further two days a month. Employees also receive 10 days of leave for family events. Female employees with children under the age of six receive two days of leave for each child.
Cameroon is moving towards a universal healthcare system, although companies offer supplementary private healthcare insurance. The public healthcare sector is the primary provider in Cameroon. Employees must register for a private health insurance plan. Employers are not required under the law to provide healthcare to their employees.
The probation period is capped at six months for employees and eight months for managers. Fixed-term contracts are capped at 24 months and can be extended once and can only be terminated for gross misconduct and mutual consent. Employers can dismiss employees when a fixed-term contract ends, when the specific work ends, for misconduct, for economic reasons or for just cause. The notice period is defined by the Minister of Labor. During the notice, the employee can take off a day each week to look for a new role. Employees with two or more years of service receive severance pay, which is defined by the Ministry of Labor. Employees qualify for severance pay after two years of service.
We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.
Our team of regional experts are here to support you with your global expansion plans. If you have any questions, just get in touch and we will be delighted to help.