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Working Hours and Overtime Regulations

Understand the laws governing work hours and overtime in Cameroon

Standard working hours

In Cameroon, the Labor Code (Code du Travail du Cameroun) sets the regulations for working hours in both public and private sectors.

The statutory maximum for workweeks in non-agricultural establishments is 40 hours, as stated in Article 80(1) of the Code du Travail du Cameroun. This applies to both public and private companies.

For agricultural and related businesses, the yearly limit is set at 2400 hours, with a weekly maximum of 48 hours, according to Article 80(2) of the Code du Travail du Cameroun.

Employers have some discretion in structuring the workweek. They can choose between a 5-day workweek with 8 hours per day or a 6-day workweek with 7 hours per day and a half-day on Saturday.


In Cameroon, the Labor Code (Code du Travail du Cameroun) provides the regulations and compensation for overtime work.

Overtime is defined as any hours worked beyond the standard workweek limitations. For non-agricultural establishments, this is any work exceeding the 40-hour weekly limit. For agricultural businesses, overtime is any work beyond the yearly limit of 2400 hours or exceeding the 48-hour weekly limit.

There is a maximum limit on overtime hours per week. A maximum of 20 additional hours can be worked per week.

The compensation for overtime work varies depending on the number of overtime hours worked. For the first 8 hours of overtime, employees receive an additional 20% of their regular hourly wage. For the next 8 hours, overtime pay increases to 30% of the regular hourly wage. For any subsequent hours (up to 20), the highest overtime rate is 40% of the regular hourly wage.

Rest periods and breaks

In Cameroon, the Labor Code guarantees rest periods and breaks for employees, ensuring their well-being and productivity. Here are the key entitlements:

Weekly Rest Period

All workers are entitled to a minimum of 24 consecutive hours of rest per week. This rest period typically falls on Sundays but can be negotiated otherwise with employee consent.

Daily Breaks

The Labor Code doesn't explicitly mandate specific break durations. However, industry standards and collective bargaining agreements often establish break periods. A common practice is to provide a short break in the mid-morning and another in the mid-afternoon, typically lasting around 15-30 minutes each.

The structure and duration of daily breaks can be flexible, allowing employers and employees to reach agreements within reason. While the Labor Code doesn't provide specific details on daily breaks, incorporating insights from legal professionals and established practices ensures a comprehensive understanding of rest period entitlements in Cameroon.

Night shift and weekend regulations

In Cameroon, labor law has specific regulations for night shift and weekend work to ensure employee well-being and fair compensation.

"Night work" is defined as any work performed between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM. An employee is considered a "night worker" if they regularly perform at least three hours of their shift during this timeframe or one-third of their annual working hours at night.

All employees in Cameroon are entitled to a minimum of 11 consecutive hours of daily rest, which must include the hours between midnight and 5:00 AM. This regulation ensures sufficient rest for night shift workers, even if their working hours fall outside the typical daytime schedule.

The law restricts the average number of night working hours to 8 hours per day over a reference period of up to four months. This regulation aims to prevent excessive workload and fatigue associated with extended night shifts. Importantly, periods of annual leave, sick leave, and other absences are still counted as working hours for calculating this average.

While the specific regulations for weekend work aren't explicitly mentioned, the standard workweek in Cameroon is 40 hours. This implies that weekend work would likely be considered overtime.

Additional considerations include overtime and collective bargaining agreements. Cameroon allows up to 20 hours of overtime per week. Night shift and weekend work might contribute to overtime hours and should be compensated accordingly. Industry-specific regulations or collective bargaining agreements with employee unions might provide additional details or variations on night shift and weekend work rules.

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