Rivermate | Cameroon flag


Termination and Severance Policies

Learn about the legal processes for employee termination and severance in Cameroon

Notice period

In Cameroon, the Labour Code of 1992 (Law No. 92/007 of 14 August 1992) stipulates the legal requirements for notice periods during employment termination. These requirements vary based on the type of employment contract and the reason for termination.

Notice Periods for Indefinite-Term Contracts (CDI)

An indefinite-term contract (CDI) is an employment contract with no predetermined end date. In the case of a CDI, either the employer or the employee can terminate the contract at any time, but they must provide written notice to the other party stating the reason for termination. The required notice period is determined by the employee's professional category and length of service:

  • Less than one year of service: One month's notice
  • Between one and three years of service: Two months' notice
  • More than three years of service: Three months' notice

The employer must pay the employee their full salary and benefits during the notice period. Additionally, the employee is generally entitled to two paid days off per week to search for a new job during this time.

Exceptions to Notice Periods for CDI

There are some exceptions where notice periods may not be required for CDI termination. These exceptions include:

  • Gross misconduct by either party: This includes serious breaches of contract or workplace rules.
  • Force majeure: This refers to unforeseen circumstances that make it impossible to continue the employment relationship, such as natural disasters or economic crises.

Notice Periods for Fixed-Term Contracts (CDD)

A fixed-term contract (CDD) is an employment contract with a predetermined end date. These contracts can only be terminated early for specific reasons outlined in the contract, such as gross misconduct, force majeure, or with the written consent of both parties.

Severance pay

In Cameroon, severance pay is a form of compensation given to employees when their employment contract is terminated by the employer for reasons other than gross misconduct. This is outlined in the Labour Code of 1992 (Law No. 92/007 of 14 August 1992).

Eligibility for Severance Pay

Employees with indefinite-term contracts (CDI) in Cameroon are eligible for severance pay if they have completed at least two consecutive years of service with the same employer and the termination of the employment contract is initiated by the employer, except in cases of gross misconduct by the employee.

Calculating Severance Pay

Severance pay in Cameroon is calculated as a percentage of the employee's average gross salary over the last 12 months of employment. The percentage is determined by the employee's length of service. For example, an employee with less than 5 years of service gets 20% of their average gross salary, while an employee with more than 25 years of service gets 45%.

Exceptions to Severance Pay

Severance pay is not required in cases of gross misconduct by the employee, termination due to unforeseen circumstances outside the employer's control, or when employees reach the legal retirement age.

Additional Notes on Severance Pay in Cameroon

Severance pay is paid in addition to any outstanding salary and benefits. Disputes regarding severance pay can be referred to the labour inspectorate or the competent court.

Termination process

Understanding the different types of contracts is crucial as they influence the termination procedures in Cameroon. There are two main types of contracts: Contracts of Specified Duration and Contracts of Unspecified Duration.

Contracts of Specified Duration

These contracts have a predetermined end date or are linked to a specific project. They terminate automatically upon completion of the term or project.

Contracts of Unspecified Duration

These are the most common type of contract and have no fixed termination date. They can be terminated by either party, but only with certain procedures in place.

Grounds for Termination

Cameroon's Labor Code outlines the permissible reasons for terminating an employment contract. These include mutual agreement, economic, technical, or structural changes, force majeure, employee's gross misconduct, and employee's incapacity.

Termination of Contracts for Unspecified Duration

The steps for legally terminating a contract of unspecified duration in Cameroon include a notice period, written notice, and an optional dismissal hearing.

Termination of Contracts for Specified Duration

Contracts of specified duration typically end automatically upon term completion or when the specific event occurs. Early termination is possible, but usually only if both parties agree, there's a case of force majeure, or one party commits a serious breach of contract.

Important Considerations

The Labor Code in Cameroon provides a minimum level of protection. Employers can offer more favorable terms in employment contracts.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.