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Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Cameroon

Holiday leave

In Cameroon, the Labor Code of 1992 stipulates that employees earn vacation leave at a rate of 1.5 working days for each month of service with the employer. This typically equates to 18 days of vacation per year for most full-time employees.

Accrual and Carry-Over

Employees start accruing vacation leave after completing one continuous year of service. Unused vacation days can generally be carried over for a maximum of two years. After this period, unused vacation entitlements may be forfeited unless a collective bargaining agreement or individual contract states otherwise.

Calculation and Scheduling

Vacation periods are calculated based on actual working days, excluding Sundays. The scheduling of vacation leave should be mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee to ensure minimal disruption to business operations.

Young Workers

Employees under the age of 18 are entitled to an increased vacation entitlement of 2.5 working days per month of service.

Urgent Family Matters

Employees can take up to 10 days of paid leave annually to attend to urgent family matters.

Labor regulations concerning vacation leave in Cameroon may be further defined through collective bargaining agreements or individual employment contracts.

Public holidays

Cameroon celebrates a variety of national, secular, and religious holidays throughout the year.

National Holidays

Cameroon's national holidays include New Year's Day on January 1st, which marks the beginning of the calendar year. Youth Day is celebrated on February 11th to honor the youth of Cameroon and their contributions to the nation. Labour Day, also known as International Workers' Day, is observed on May 1st to honor the working class. National Day is celebrated on May 20th to commemorate Cameroon's independence in 1972.

Religious Holidays

Cameroon has a diverse population with both Christian and Muslim communities, and both Christian and Islamic holidays are observed.

Christian Holidays

Christian holidays include Good Friday, a solemn holiday marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ascension Day marks the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven. Assumption Day, celebrated on August 15th, honors the assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven and is primarily celebrated by the Catholic community. Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25th to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Muslim Holidays

Islamic holidays in Cameroon follow the lunar calendar, and their dates change annually. These include Eid al-Fitr, which celebrates the ending of the holy month of Ramadan. Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. The Prophet Muhammed's Birthday celebrates the birth of the Prophet Muhammed, the founder of Islam.

Important Notes

The exact dates for religious holidays can vary each year as they depend on religious calendars. Some holidays may be observed regionally or within specific communities.

Types of leave

Employees accrue 1.5 days of annual leave for each full month of service. After five years of service, the accrual rate increases to 2 days per month. Leave can be accrued and carried over for up to two years, unless otherwise specified in collective agreements or individual contracts. Employees with over 12 days of accrued leave may split it, with one portion having at least 12 consecutive working days. Compensation cannot substitute accrued leave, except upon termination of employment.

Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 30 days of paid sick leave per year. They become eligible for extended sick leave of up to 6 months with authorized medical certification. Sick leave generally requires recognized medical certifications to legitimize the absence.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are granted 14 weeks of paid maternity leave. This includes 4 weeks before the expected due date (or 6 weeks if ordered by a doctor) and 10 weeks after birth. Maternity leave is financed through the National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS).

Paternity Leave

While paternity leave isn't specifically mandated by law, fathers may utilize their 10 days of paid "family events leave" for this purpose.

Family Events Leave

Employees receive up to 10 days of paid leave per year to attend to significant family events.

Other Types of Leave

Short-term, occasional leaves of absence may be negotiated between employer and employee based on individual circumstances. Regulations may exist within specific industries or collective agreements regarding leave for employee training and development.

Important Considerations

Collective bargaining agreements may contain more generous leave provisions than those outlined in the Labor Code. Certain industries may have additional leave regulations. Individual companies may have their own internal policies that supplement the legal minimums.

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