International Employment - Cameroon

International Employment - Cameroon

Published June 2020


Gael Tchouba

Firm: Citadel Law Firm
Country: Cameroon

Practice Area: Commercial

  • 758, Blvd de la reunification Feu Rouge Bessengue
    3rd floor Aziccul Building
    PO Box 599 Douala

Guide Content

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, teleworking has been the most recommended type of working by employers to ensure continuity in workflow. Some have resolved to laying off non-essential staff as a preventive measure in order to reduce expenses and avoid their business entering a state of corporate comatose.

We will now address what legally constitutes laying off and its implications on employees in accordance with the provisions of the Cameroonian labour code. It is a temporal cessation of work (complete or partial) of a set of employees following the instruction of their employer. It is applicable to a set of employees in a company, e.g. employees of a particular department, branch, category, etc. and not to an individual employee.

- Fatal accident;

- Force majeure;

- Unfavorable economic situation.

Apart from the above, no other circumstances can lead to laying off employees. It is worth noting that the circumstances mentioned must be independent of the employee or employer’s performance or attitude. It is generally rooted in the economic or financial health of the employer.

Yes. COVID-19 can be identified as a force majeure.

Lay-off shall not exceed six months.

Any employee laid off shall have his or her contract of employment suspended during the said period. This means the person is still considered as an employee despite the suspension of the employment contract. The employee will regain their position where the company decides to resume its activities on or before the six-month duration period. However, if the company is unable to resume its activities after the said duration, the employee’s contract will be terminated based on economic grounds.

According to the applicable law, the employees laid off shall be entitled to the following:

-          50% salary for the first month;

-          40% salary for the second month;

-          35% salary for the third month;

-          30% salary for the fourth month;

-          25% salary for the fifth month;

-          20% salary for the sixth month.

The salary to be considered when calculating the above compensation shall be the employee’s basic salary + seniority allowance where applicable.

The above questionnaire is meant for general information only and does not constitute any legal advice. For any inquiries on the above, please contact us at or visit

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