Hire in Cameroon
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Cameroon.
Currency of Cameroon
Central African CFA Franc (XAF)
The Capital of Cameroon
Time Zone in Cameroon
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.
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 Regading 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.
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.
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.
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||4.2||4.2||750,000|
|Industrial accident / Occupational disease||1.75 – 5.00||NA||NA|
|Type||Contribution by Employer (%)||Contribution by Employee (%)|
|National Employment Fund||1||NA|
|Local Council Tax||NA||Amount according to the employee salary|
|Audiovisual tax||NA||Amount according to the employee salary|
Important Information for Cameroonian Employees
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Male employees in Cameroon are entitled to three days of paternity leave.
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.
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
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.
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 2023
|1.||New Year’s Day||01.Jan.2023|
|2.||New Year Holiday||02.Jan.2023|
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