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Last updated at December 17, 2023
An Aerial view of capital city of Cameroon

Currency of Cameroon

Central African CFA Franc (XAF)

The Capital of Cameroon

Yaoundé

Time Zone in Cameroon

GMT+1

Important Facts About the Country of Cameroon

Introduction to Cameroon

Cameroon, also known as the Republic of Cameroon, is strategically placed at the crossroads of West Africa and Central Africa. The country is home to nearly 27 million people and is known as “Africa in miniature” due to its diverse geography, languages and cultures. Yaoundé is Cameroon’s political capital, while Douala is its largest city and economic hub.

What to Know about Cameroon's Geography

Cameroon spans an area of around 475,442 square kilometers and is bordered to the west and north by Nigeria, the northeast by Chad and the east by the Central African Republic and the south by Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Its coastline is situated along the Bight of Biafra, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate in Cameroon

Cameroon’s southern region is characterized by a humid and equatorial climate with temperatures ranging between 20-25°C (68-77°F). The wettest areas receive over 400 millimeters (15.7 inches) of rainfall every month. In contrast, the northern region of Cameroon is semiarid and arid, with temperatures typically ranging between 25-30°C (77-86°F).

The Culture of Cameroon

Cameroon boasts a rich and diverse culture, encompassing approximately 250 indigenous groups with their own languages and customs. The country’s geographical features are also incredibly diverse, with all of Africa’s landscapes represented within Cameroon’s borders. This contributes to the cultural variety found in the country, where lifestyles, traditional cuisine and customs vary from region to region.

Religions Observed in Cameroon

Cameroon is home to a significant degree of religious diversity and freedom. Christianity is the dominant religion, with over two-thirds of the population identifying as Christian. Islam is also a substantial minority religion, practiced by approximately one-fourth of the population.

Languages Spoken in Cameroon

Cameroon has two official languages, English and French, but French is by far the most commonly understood, with almost 80% of the population speaking it. In addition, nearly 20 million Cameroonians speak approximately 250 other languages, making the country one of the most linguistically diverse nations in the world.

Cameroon Human Resources at a Glance

Employment Law Protections in Cameroon

The Labor Code of 1992 is the primary legal framework governing employment relationships in Cameroon. In addition to this, other essential regulations include:

  • Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon 1972

  • Penal Code 1967

  • Social Security Profile for Cameroon 2017

  • Decree on Deviations of Legal Working Hours

  • Collective agreements depending on the principal activity of the company

Employment Contracts in Cameroon

Employment contracts may be established either verbally or in writing, with both fixed-term and indefinite-term contracts being allowed. However, if a fixed-term contract exceeds three months or requires the employee to relocate from their usual residence, it must be in written form. A copy of the contract must also be sent to the local Labor Inspector.

Cameroon's Fixed Term Contract Terms

If a working relationship continues beyond the end of a fixed-term contract, the contract must be transformed into an indefinite-term contract. The following types of contracts are considered fixed-term but cannot be renewed:

  • A contract whose termination is dependent on the occurrence of a future but certain event, which is beyond the control of both parties.

  • A contract that is established for the completion of a specified task.

If a foreign national is engaged on a fixed-term contract, the contract can only be renewed after receiving an endorsement from the minister responsible for labor.

Pre-Employment Checks

Cameroonian law does not prohibit employers from conducting background checks, including criminal records and medical history.

Cameroon's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period

The probation period for an employee in Cameroon cannot exceed six months, including any renewals. However, if the employee is a manager, the duration may be extended up to eight months.

The probation period may be renewed once but only with the employee’s written approval before the initial trial period expires. If the employee does not give written consent, the probation period is considered complete and the employee is deemed to have been hired permanently.

Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Cameroon

According to Cameroonian labor law, all non-agricultural public and private establishments must not have a workweek exceeding 40 hours or a work month exceeding 173 hours.

In addition, employees are entitled to a rest day each week, which must be for a minimum of 24 consecutive hours.

Cameroon's Laws Regarding Overtime

In Cameroon, any hours worked beyond the regular 40-hour workweek are considered overtime and are compensated as follows:

During regular work hours:

  • The first 8 overtime hours are compensated at 20% of the employee’s hourly wage

  • The next 8 hours of overtime are compensated at 30% of the employee’s hourly wage

  • Any additional overtime hours (up to 20 hours per week) are compensated at 40% of the employee’s hourly wage

On Sundays, any overtime hours worked are compensated at 50% of the employee’s hourly wage.

On public holidays, any overtime hours worked are compensated at 50% of the employee’s hourly wage.

Timesheets

Employers in Cameroon are obligated to maintain and regularly update a register at the workplace called the “employer’s register.” This register must contain information that allows labor and social insurance agencies to conduct an inspection.

Medical Check-ups

Medical check-ups are mandated by law. It must take place within three months of the employee’s probation period.

Bonus and 13th Month Pay

Unless a more advantageous practice applies, at the end of the year, every employee with twelve months of seniority in the organization will be granted an allowance known as the thirteenth-month allowance, equivalent to one month of category salary, increased by the seniority bonus.

This allowance will be determined pro-rata for employees with less than twelve months of service.

Termination

If either party wishes to terminate an indefinite-term contract, they must provide prior notice or payment in lieu. The notice must be in writing and state the reason.

The legality of the termination depends on the circumstances, and if challenged in court, the employer must prove that it was for a valid reason, such as gross misconduct or redundancy. Fixed-term contracts cannot be terminated before their expiry except for gross misconduct, force majeure, or with written consent from both parties.

Certain groups of employees are protected from dismissal, including pregnant women, worker’s representatives, trade union officials and employees on sick leave.

Cameroon's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods

Employers in Cameroon have the right to end a permanent employment contract by giving notice or making a payment in lieu of notice. This notice must be in writing and provide a clear reason for the termination. The duration of the notice period is determined by the employee’s professional category and length of service, ranging from one month to four months.

After receiving notice, the employee is entitled to two paid days off per week to look for a new job. This ensures that the employee has enough time and resources to find new employment opportunities.

Redundancy/Severance Pay in Cameroon

When an employer terminates a permanent employment contract, except for gross misconduct, the employee is entitled to severance pay if they have worked for at least two successive years.

The amount is based on the length of service and corresponds to a percentage of the monthly gross salary for the last 12 months.

  • Less than 5 years of service: 25% of the salary for the last 12 months
  • 6 – 10 years of service: 30% of the salary for the last 12 months 11 – 15 years of service: 40% of the salary for the last 12 months
  • 16 – 20 years of service: 45% of the salary for the last 12 months
  • Over 20 years of service: 50% of the salary for the last 12 months

Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants

Employment contracts can include non-competition covenants, as there is no law prohibiting them.

Data Protection

There is no specific data protection law in Cameroon. However, legal protection on data protection is found in several laws, including the Constitution and the Law on Electronic Communications.

Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Cameroon

Personal Income Tax in Cameroon

Employment income earned in Cameroon is subject to personal income taxes, which are levied at the below progress rates.

Annual Taxable Income (XAF) Tax Rate (%)
0 – 2,000,000 11
2,000,001 – 3,000,000 16.5
3,000,001 – 5,000,000 27.5
5,000,001 and above 38.5

Social Security in Cameroon

In Cameroon, both employees and employers are obligated to contribute to the National Social Insurance Fund (‘NSIF’) as follows:

Type Contribution by Employer (%) Contribution by Employee (%) Monthly Salary Cap (XAF)
National Social Insurance Fund (Pension CNPS) 4.2 4.2 750,000
Family Allowance (Prestations Familiales) 7 NA 750,000
Industrial accident / Occupational disease (Accidents du travail) 1.75 – 5.00 NA NA
Contributions from the employee are withheld at source on a monthly basis by the employer.Employers and employees in Cameroon must also contribute to the Housing Fund and National Employment Fund of Cameroon as follows:

 

 

 

Type Contribution by Employer (%) Contribution by Employee (%)
Housing Fund (Credit Foncier) 1.5 1
National Employment Fund (NEF) 1 NA
Local Council Tax NA Amount according to the employee salary
Audiovisual tax NA Amount according to the employee salary
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.

 

 

 

 

Important Information for Cameroonian Employees

Salary Payment

In Cameroon, employers must pay monthly salaries in a legal currency no later than eight days after the end of the month for which earnings are due. Salaries must be paid only on working days and in a location near the place of employment. The labor code prohibits the payment of salaries in public houses and shops.

Payslip

The labor code in Cameroon requires employers to provide an individual pay voucher to employees at the time of payment. The pay voucher must be in the form defined by the minister responsible for labor.

Annual Leave

In Cameroon, employees earn two days of annual leave for every month of service. After one year of employment, employees are entitled to 18 days of paid annual leave.

Annual leave is increased by two working days for each full period of five years of employment, whether continuous or not. Splitting of annual leave is allowed, with one of the fractions consisting of at least 12 consecutive days. Payment of compensation in lieu of leave is prohibited in all cases except for termination.

Mothers are entitled to additional leave based on the age of their children.

Sick Leave

Employees in Cameroon may receive up to six months of paid sick leave if they provide a medical report. After six months, the employer has the legal right to terminate the contract.

Absence Leave

Employees in Cameroon are entitled to a maximum of ten days per year of paid special leave of absence on the occasion of family events directly concerning them.

Training Leave

Employees in Cameroon are entitled to up to 18 working days of unpaid training leave to attend a recognized course. The leave may be split up upon mutual agreement.

Training leave will be considered a period of actual service when calculating the employee’s length of service at the company.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave

Pregnant women are entitled to take up to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, with four weeks prenatal and 10 weeks post-natal. The maternity leave may be extended by six weeks (to a total of 20 weeks) in the event of a properly proven illness resulting from either the birth or the pregnancy. Maternity leave pay is covered by the National Social Insurance Fund.

Employers are prohibited from terminating employees on maternity leave.

The mother is entitled to breastfeeding breaks for up to 15 months after giving birth. The total length of breaks per day cannot exceed one hour. These breaks must be taken during working hours and are compensated.

Paternity Leave

Male employees in Cameroon are entitled to three days of paternity leave.

Public Holidays

Cameroon usually observes 10 national holidays and the government may add one-time holiday events throughout the year.

Benefits to the Employee in Cameroon

Cameroonian Statutory Benefits

Employees in Cameroon are entitled to various statutory benefits, including national social security insurance, industrial accident/occupational disease insurance, family allowances, housing fund, employment fund, transport allowance, maternity leave, paternity leave, annual leave, absence leave and sick leave. These benefits are prescribed by law and collective agreements.

Other Benefits

In addition to the statutory entitlements, it is common for employers in Cameroon to offer the following perks:

  • Year-end bonuses
  • Private health and life insurance
  • Allowances supporting electricity, water, phone and domestic servants
  • Prolonged or additional leave days

 

Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Cameroon

General Information

Visas

To enter Cameroon, most foreign nationals need to obtain a visa from a Cameroonian embassy or consulate. However, citizens of the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria can enter without a visa for stays up to 90 days. Some citizens of specific countries can obtain a visa on arrival, while others need to contact the embassy or consulate of Cameroon before departure to learn about the visa requirements and application process.

Cameroon provides various types of visas for different purposes such as tourism, business, study, transit, and volunteering. The duration of the visa can be up to six months. If a foreigner wishes to stay longer, they need to apply for a Cameroon residence permit.

Work Permits

Before beginning employment, foreign nationals must obtain approval from the Minister in charge of Labor. The employer is responsible for submitting the endorsement request. If the endorsement is denied, the contract becomes void. If there is no response from the Minister of Labor within two months of receiving the application, the contract is assumed to be endorsed.

To work in Cameroon, a foreign national must first obtain a work visa, then apply for a residence permit. He or she will also need a letter of invitation from their employer, which must contain details such as the duration of the work and the financial and legal responsibilities. The employment contract must be legalized and signed by the Minister of Labor and Social Security in Cameroon.

Public Holidays Recognized by Cameroon in 2024

  Occasion Date
1 New Year’s Day January 1
2 Youth Day February 11
3 Youth Day Holiday February 12
4 Good Friday March 29
5 Djouldé Soumaé April 10
6 Labour Day May 1
7 Ascension Day May 9
8 National Day May 20
9 Tabaski June 16
10 Assumption Day August 15
11 Christmas Day December 25

 

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