Ngassam Njike Law Firm, Eversheds best friend firm in Cameroon, reports that the government in Yaoundé is planning to revise its current Labour Code.The timeframe of the reform has not yet been outlined but an outline of the new rules has already been submitted to the Inter-Employer Syndicate of Cameroon (“Le Groupement Inter-Patronal du Cameroun”) for its review.

The initial draft of the new Labour Code includes, among other things, substantial changes such as the mandatory written form for fixed-term contracts being concluded for more than 3 months, the privilege of permanent employment contracts reserved exclusively to Cameroonians and the obligation imposed on employers to provide an accommodation for displaced workers. Employers would also be expected to guarantee a social security service for hired trainees, to establish within their structure a permanent body responsible for a social dialogue and offer a right to a  continuous professional training to their employees.  This last right to a continuous professional training must be expressly provided in each employment contract. In addition, the Cameroon’s lawmakers are planning to introduce the definition of both, moral and physical harassment at work.  This last amendment is seen as a big step forward in terms of modernisation of the current labour legislation.

The bill imposes a significant number of new obligations on employers so companies investing in Cameroon will have to take into account certain restrictions such as more rigid dismissal policy with higher damages awarded to employees due in case of unfair dismissal. Additionally, the reform is to privilege nationals in terms of employment  what may affect directly an investors’ HR policy and, consequently, lead to a reduction of their international staff.

Virgile Ngassam Njike Avocat - SCP Ngassam Njike & Associés