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Cameroon
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2019    

References
  • Labour Code, Law No. 92/007, [LC]
    Date: 14 Aug 1992 (view in NATLEX »)
  • Implementing texts dated 26 May 1993:
    * Decree No. 021 setting the terms for termination of employment for economic reasons;
    * Order No. 015 setting the conditions and duration of the notice period;
    * Order No. 016 setting the terms for compensation and calculation of severance pay;
    * Order No. 017 setting the terms for probationary period. (view in NATLEX »)
  • Arrêté n° 017/MTPS/SG/CJ du 26 mai 1993 fixant la durée maximale et les modalités de l'engagement à l'essai.
    Date: 1993
  • Order No. 22/MTPS/SG/CJ establishing procedures governing terminations on economic grounds (referred to by the Government in the Observation (CEACR) - adopted 2017, published 107th ILC session (2018) on the application of ILO Convention No. 158)
  • Décret n° 021/MTPS/SG/CJ du 26 mai 1993 fixant les modalités de licenciement pour motif économique.
    Date: 1993
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: civil/public servants; domestic workers; police; army; judiciary; prison personnel; auxiliary administrative employees
Remarks:
  • Art. 1(3) LC

    Observation (CEACR) - adopted 2017, published 107th ILC session (2018) on the application of the Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No. 158) - Cameroon (Ratification: 1988): Indication by the Government that domestic workers and workers in the informal economy belong to the categories of workers that are subject to special regulations or a special scheme ; and that these workers are subject to special regulations, and are not considered as workers covered by the Labour Code of 1992.

Types of employment contracts - 2019    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 8 month(s)

Remarks:
  • *Art. 28 LC
    The probationary period cannot exceed 6 months including renewal, except for managerial staff for whom it can be extended to 8 months.

    See also: Arrêté n° 017/MTPS/SG/CJ du 26 mai 1993 fixant la durée maximale et les modalités de l'engagement à l'essai.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • Art. 25 LC
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: 2
    Remarks:
    • Art. 25 (1) a) LC
      Exceptions:
      *Are not renewable contracts concluded for the execution of a specified task and contract which termination is subject to the occurrence of a future but certain event;
      * Are renewable without limitation contracts of temporary employment to replace a worker, employment to complete a task within a specified period which requires additional manpower, occasional work aiming at coping with unexpected growth in the activities of the company or entailing urgent tasks for reasons of public security, and seasonal work. (art. 25 (4) LC)
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 48 month(s)
    Remarks:
    • Art. 25 (1) a): maximum 2 years renewable once.
      *This limitation does not however apply to temporary employment to replace a worker, employment to complete a task within a specified period which requires additional manpower, occasional work aiming at coping with unexpected growth in the activities of the company or entailing urgent tasks for reasons of public security, and seasonal work. (art. 25 (4) LC)

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2019    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Art. 34 (1) LC


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none
Remarks:
  • Art. 34 LC: a contract of employment may be terminated at any time at the will of either party provided previous notice is given.
    This does not result in a total freedom of the employer to terminate the contract: it must be understood in light of the existence of prohibited grounds.

    The LC provides for specific regime for dismissal on the grounds of serious misconduct (art. 36 and 37 LC) and on economic grounds (art. 40 LC).


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; political opinion; trade union membership and activities
Remarks:
  • The LC does not contain any general provision on non-discrimination.
    Art. 39 LC: Dismissal based on the opinions of the workers or his affiliation to a trade union are prohibited.
    Art. 84 LC: Pregnant women and women on maternity leave.


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave
Remarks:
  • Art. 40 (7) and 130 LC : prior authorization by the labour administration for the dismissal of a workers' representative.

    Art. 84 LC : prohibition of dismissal only during maternity leave and not during the whole period of pregnancy. However, pregnancy cannot justify dismissal.


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Art. 34 (1) LC

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Art. 34 LC

    Art. 1 of the Order No. 15 of 1993.
    The notice period varies according to the professional category to which the worker belongs and the length of service.

    * Categories I to VI and domestic workers:
    - less than one year of service: 15 days;
    - 1 to 5 years of service: 1 month;
    - more than 5 years of service: 2 months.

    * Categories VII to IX:
    - less than one year of service: 1 month;
    - 1 to 5 years of service: 2 months;
    - more than 5 years of service: 3 months.

    * Categories X to XII:
    - less than one year of service: 1 month;
    - 1 to 5 years of service: 3 months;
    - more than 5 years of service: 4 months.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • worker's categories I to VI and domestic workers - 15 day(s).
      • worker's categories VII to IX - 1 month(s).
      • worker's categories X to XII - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • worker's categories I to VI and domestic workers - 15 day(s).
      • worker's categories VII to IX - 1 month(s).
      • worker's categories X to XII - 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • worker's categories I to VI and domestic workers - 1 month(s).
      • worker's categories VII to IX - 2 month(s).
      • worker's categories X to XII - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • worker's categories I to VI and domestic workers - 1 month(s).
      • worker's categories VII to IX - 2 month(s).
      • worker's categories X to XII - 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • worker's categories I to VI and domestic workers - 2 month(s).
      • worker's categories VII to IX - 3 month(s).
      • worker's categories X to XII - 4 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • worker's categories I to VI and domestic workers - 2 month(s).
      • worker's categories VII to IX - 3 month(s).
      • worker's categories X to XII - 4 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • worker's categories I to VI and domestic workers - 2 month(s).
      • worker's categories VII to IX - 3 month(s).
      • worker's categories X to XII - 4 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 36(1) LC

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Remarks:
    • Exceptions:
      Notification is mandatory prior to any:
      * individual dismissal on economic grounds (art 40 (6) LC)
      * dismissal of a worker's representative (art. 130 LC).

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Remarks:
    • Exception:
      Notification is mandatory prior to any individual dismissal on economic grounds: art. 40 (3) and (6) LC.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Remarks:
    • Exception: any dismissal of a worker's representatives shall be approved by the competent administrative authority: art. 130 LC and 40(7) LC.

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2019    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    No legal definition - procedural requirements apply any dismissal (individual or collective) based on economic grounds

    Remarks:
    • Art. 40 LC refers to "any dismissal based on economic grounds":
      "2) Constitue un licenciement pour motif économique tout licenciement effectué par un employeur pour un ou plusieurs motifs non inhérents à la personne du travailleur et résultant d’une suppression ou transformation d’emploi ou d’une modification du contrat de travail, consécutive à des difficultés économiques, à des mutations technologiques ou à des restructurations internes."

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 40 (3), (6) LC and art. 3 of the Decree No. 21, 26 May 1993.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art 40 (3), (4) (6) LC

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 40 (6) LC and art. 3 of the Decree No. 21, 26 May 1993.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Remarks:
    • Except for the dismissal of workers' representatives: art. 40 (7) LC.

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Remarks:
    • Note: In the absence of agreement between the employer and the staff representatives, the dispute is brought before the Labour Inspector for arbitration (art. 40(6)d) LC). However, the employer is not bound by the decision of the administration.
      (Paul-Gérard Pougoué, Code du travail annoté, 1997)

      Approval by the administration is however mandatory in order to dismiss a workers' representative: art. 40 (7) LC

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 6 (a) LC: "...l’employeur doit établir l’ordre des licenciements en tenant compte des aptitudes professionnelles, de l’ancienneté dans l’entreprise et des charges familiales des travailleurs."
      Art. 2 of the Decree No. 21 of 26 May 1993, lists the criteria to be considered in the following order: professional skills, length of service and family responsibilities.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 40 (3) LC: alternatives to dismissal must be examined in the framework of the consultation process but no formal agreement is required. It reads as follows:
      "3) Pour tenter d’éviter un licenciement pour motif économique, l’employeur qui envisage un tel licenciement doit réunir les délégués du personnel s’il en existe et rechercher avec eux en présence de l’inspecteur du travail du ressort, toutes les autres possibilités telles que : la réduction des heures de travail, le travail par roulement, le travail à temps partiel, le chômage technique, le réaménagement des primes, indemnités et avantages de toute nature, voire la réduction des salaires. "

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 40 (9) LC and art. 4 of the Decree No 21 of 21 May 1996: prior claim to employment in the same establishment for a period of 2 years.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2019    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • * Art. 37 LC

      * Art. 1 and 2 of the Order N° 016 of 26 May 1993:
      - A worker is entitled to severance pay provided he has been employed for at least two years and he has not committed any serious misconduct.
      - Severance pay corresponds to a percentage of the monthly overall wages per year of service and is set according to the length of service as follows:
      *20% per year during the first 5 years
      *25% per year from the 6th to the 10th year
      *30% per year from the 11th to th 15th year
      *35% per year from the 16th to the 20th year
      *40 % per year after the 21st year
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 0.8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 2.25 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 5.5 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • No specific redundancy payment: severance pay covers dismissals for economic reasons. (Art. 1 and 2 of the Order N° 016 of 26 May 1993)
    • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 0.8 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 2.25 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 5.5 month(s)

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2019    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Remarks:
    • Art. 39 (4) LC reads as follows:
      "... 4) Le montant des dommages-intérêts est fixé compte-tenu, en général, de tous les éléments qui peuvent justifier l’existence et déterminer l’étendue du préjudice causé et notamment :a) lorsque la responsabilité incombe au travailleur, de son niveau de qualification et de l’emploi occupé ; b) lorsque la responsabilité incombe à l’employeur, de la nature des services engagés, de l’ancienneté des services, de l’âge du travailleur et des droits à quelque titre que ce soit. Toutefois, le montant des dommages-intérêts, sans excéder un mois de salaire par année d’ancienneté dans l’entreprise, ne peut être inférieur à trois mois de salaire. (...)".

      Art. 39 (5) LC reads as follows:
      "...5) En cas de licenciement légitime d’un travailleur survenu sans observation par l’employeur des formalités prévues, le montant des dommages-intérêts ne peut excéder un mois de salaire."

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    Unfair dismissal: not more than 1 month's salary per year of service and not less than 3 months' salary.
    In addition, failure to observe the procedural requirements gives rise to compensation of not more than 1 month's salary.

    Remarks:
    • Art. 39, (4) and (5) LC

    Reinstatement available: No

    Remarks:
    • Except for workers' representatives: Art. 130 (4) LC.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Preliminary mandatory extra-judicial conciliation before the Labour Inspector (art. 139 LC).

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Remarks:
    • Art. 131 and 133 LC

    Existing arbitration: No

    Source of additional information - 2019    

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    Links

    ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations - Comments on the ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No. 158 »

    OIT / Guide du travailleur au Cameroun (2013) »