Engage In Cameroon

Table of Contents

About Cameroon

Capital City

Yaoundé

Population

As of March 2024, the estimated population of Cameroon is 28.6 million.

Currency

The currency in Cameroon is the Central African CFA franc (XAF). The currency symbol is F.CFA.

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Overview

Cameroon, officially known as the Republic of Cameroon, is a country located in west-central Africa. It shares borders with Nigeria to the west and north, Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east, and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. With a diverse population and a blend of cultures and languages, Cameroon is a vibrant and ethnically rich nation. Its capital city is Yaoundé, situated in the south-central part of the country. Cameroon’s geography is characterized by a triangular shape, encompassing various regions such as the northern, central, southern, and western parts of the country. From savanna plains to mountains and an expansive coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, Cameroon’s landscape is diverse and picturesque. The country’s name originates from the Portuguese term “Rio dos Camarões,” meaning “River of Prawns,” and it was later extended by the Germans to encompass their entire protectorate. Today, Cameroon stands as an important player in the region, known for its natural resources, cultural heritage, and significant contributions to Africa’s political and economic landscape.

Employment Relationship

Permanent Employment

The labor law defines permanent employment in terms of employment contracts made for an unspecified period. Such agreements can be oral or written. A labor contract of unspecified duration may be terminated at any time at the will of either party by providing a written notice. 

Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

In Cameroon, the labor law limits the duration of fixed-term contracts to 2 years with the possibility of a one-time renewal for the same term. They can also be concluded for specific predefined work that is accurately indicated in the contract (in this instance, the contract cannot be renewed). A fixed-term contract with a duration of over 3 months must be concluded in writing.

Temporary Employment Contratcs

An employer can hire temporary workers for the following reasons: To replace an employee who is absent or whose contract has been terminated For the completion of a particular work in a specific time limit, as well as seasonal work Temporary employees may be hired through a temporary job contractor. The contract of employment between the temporary job contractor and the employee provided to a user (the employer the person will be working for) must be made in writing. The duration of such an agreement cannot exceed 1 year with the same user. 

Probationary Period

A probationary period must be stipulated in writing and can last for a maximum of 6 months, along with renewals. The probation period for executives can be extended for up to 8 months. Employees can be dismissed without any notice period and claim to compensation during the probation period.

Working Hours

In Cameroon, the labor law indicates that the standard workweek is 40 hours. However, standard working hours may vary for different occupations. Employees working more hours than what is considered standard for their profession are eligible for overtime benefits.

Holidays / PTO

Statutory Holidays

  • New Year’s Day - 1st January
  • Youth Day - 11th February
  • Labor Day - 1st May
  • National Day - 20th May
  • The Ascension Day - Date subject to change
  • Good Friday - Date subject to change
  • Christmas - 25th December
  • End of Ramadan - Date subject to change
  • Sheep Festival - Date subject to change

Paid Annual Leave

According to the Labor Code of Cameroon, an employee is entitled to paid annual leave equal to 1.5 days of leave for every month of work done by the employee. For employees younger than 18 years, the leave is granted as 2.5 days per month of service. Employees accrue or accumulate annual leave after 1 year of service. The collective agreement of the company with the trade union or individual employment contract can provide for an increased duration of the leave. If the contract is terminated or expires before the employee has exercised their right to leave, the employer must issue compensation in lieu of the leave.

Sick Leave

The Labor Code of Cameroon states that the employment contract can remain suspended for 6 months if the employee is sick. Permanent employees with a contract for unspecified duration are paid 100% of their remuneration for the duration of the notice period if the sick leave exceeds the notice period or for the duration of sick leave if it is less than the notice period of the employee. Fixed-term employees are paid for the duration of their notice period based on the length of their employment.

Maternity Leave

The labor law of Cameroon provides maternity leave of 14 weeks to pregnant employees. It starts 4 weeks before the expected date of delivery. The leave can be extended by 6 weeks in case of medical complications. The employee is entitled to an allowance equal to her salary for the duration of the leave funded by the National Social Insurance Fund.   A pregnant employee may terminate her employment contract without notice and without being obliged to pay any compensation to the employer. An employer is prohibited from dismissing an employee during her maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

There is no statutory provision granting parental leave to employees in Cameroon. However, the Cameroonian Labor Code provides a special paid leave of up to 10 days annually that employees can take for family events directly concerning their own home. This leave is not deducted from the annual leave.

Termination of Employment

Notice Period

The duration of the notice period depends on the seniority and professional classification of the employee. It is broken down into categories listed below (unless a collective labor agreement stipulates a longer duration) Category I to VI (all household employees): service under 1 year (15 days), between 1 and 5 years (1 month), more than 5 years (2 months) Category VII to IX: service of less than 1 year (1 month), between 1 and 5 years (2 months), more than 5 years (3 months) Category X to XII: less than 1 year (1 month), between 1 and 5 years (3 months), more than 5 years (4 months)

Severance Benefits

Severance pay is granted to employees who have worked for at least 1 year for the same employer and who are dismissed for reasons other than gross misconduct. It is paid in addition to the compensation for the notice period. Severance payment is calculated as a percentage of the average monthly salary of the employee multiplied by the number of years of service: 1st to 5th year – 20% of the monthly pay 6th to 10th year – 25% of the monthly pay 11th to 15th year – 30% of the monthly pay 16th to 20th year – 35% of the monthly pay 21st year onwards – 40% of the monthly pay

Social Security

Pension

The retirement age in Cameroon is 60 years for eligible persons who have been registered with the National Social Insurance Fund for at least 20 years, have completed at least 60 months of insurance in the last 10 years, and have ceased all salaried activities. The monthly pension is equal to 30% of the average monthly salary and is increased by 1% for every year after 180 days. The source of funds is the contributions to the National Social Insurance Fund at 4.2% paid by the employer and 4.2% paid by the employee. The minimum pension is 30% of the minimum wage, and the maximum is 80% of the average remuneration of the employee.

Dependents/Survivors Benefit

Invalidity Benefit

The National Social Insurance Fund of Cameroon provides a disability benefit to insured employees below the age of 60 years if they have been registered with the National Social Insurance Fund for at least five years and have completed six months of insurance in the last 12 calendar months preceding the onset of disability. These contribution conditions are not applicable in case of disability work-related accidents. The monthly disability pension amount is 30% of earnings, increased by 1% for each year of contributions after 180 months. 

Taxation of Compensation and Benefits

Personal Income Tax

The tax rates for employment income in Cameroon range from 10% for XAF 0-200,000 (Central African CFA francs) to 35% for earnings above XAF 5,000,0001.  An additional charge of 10% is levied as council tax. A 15% flat rate is applicable on income from stocks and shares. Income from business or professional activities is subject to a 30% tax rate.

Immigration

Types of Visas

Transit visa – issued to foreign nationals who are traveling to some other country via Cameroon, valid for up to 5 days Tourist visa –  issued to foreign nationals who enter Cameroon for a temporary visit, valid for up to 30 days Temporary visa –  issued to foreign nationals for multiple visits in Cameroon, valid for 3 months Long-stay visa – issued to foreign nationals who wish to stay in Cameroon for more than 3 months, valid for up to 6 months

Work Permit

The law in Cameroon requires foreign nationals to obtain a work permit before starting a paid activity in the country. The application has to be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. A work permit is issued for 2 years and is renewable indefinitely.

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