The national leave policy in Cameroon is regulated under Cameroon's Labor Code 92/007 of August 14th, 1992.
As a general rule, paid and unpaid leave in Cameroon is determined by favorable collective agreements or individual contracts agreed upon between employers, workers, and unions. Otherwise, paid leave is accrued to a worker — at an employer's expense — at a rate of 1.5 working days for each month of service.
Calculating leave periods in Cameroon is done as follows:
- A period of up to four weeks or 24 days of work is considered one month of effective service.
- Unavailability periods due to work-related accidents, injuries, or diseases.
- Absence periods of up to six months due to illness duly endorsed by an approved medical practitioner. (Section 32)
- Maternity leave.
- Layoffs up to six months due to major facility accidents, emergency personal situations, or a general adverse economic situation. (Section 32)
Cameroon's Labor Code also provides for specific leave provisions as follows:
- All paid and unpaid leaves can be accrued only after one year of service.
- All workers are entitled to up to 10 days of paid leave per year to attend to urgent family matters.
- Young workers under 18 are entitled to paid leaves accruable at a rate of 2.5 days (instead of 1.5 days) per month of service.
- Unless agreed on in collective agreements or individual contracts, leave periods are accruable for up to two years only after a longer period of service.
- Leave entitlements are blocked by a three-year limitation following when an employment agreement is terminated.
- A worker is entitled to receive leave compensation according to standard accrual rates if such worker's contract was terminated or expired before exercising their right to leave.
- Compensation instead of statutory rest is prohibited.
- All workers are entitled to leave compensation by employers one day prior to their leave commencement date.
Public holidays in Cameroon
Cameroon has 10 official public holidays:
∗ If a civil holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day is considered a public holiday
∗∗ If a religious holiday falls on a Sunday or public holiday, the president may declare the next day as a public holiday
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Types of leave in Cameroon
Like in many jurisdictions, Cameroon has statutory leaves mandated by law as follows:
Sick leave in Cameroon
Cameroon's Labor Code and associated regulations and stipulations provide up to 30 days of paid sick leave. Otherwise, a worker is entitled to up to six months of additional sick leave provided that such a worker supplied recognized medical certifications.
Generally, more sick leave days are agreed on or negotiable in collective agreements or individual contracts, as in all additional paid and unpaid leaves not specifically addressed in law.
Maternity leave in Cameroon
Generally, all employees — males and females — are entitled to receive family benefits under the law from Cameroon's Social Security Administration, including maternity leave.
To qualify for maternity-related benefits, female workers need to:
- Undergo two medical pregnancy-related examinations within the third and fourth months (first examination) and the seventh and eighth months (second examination) of pregnancy
- Present a medical certificate, after childbirth, to Cameroon's National Security Insurance Fund, indicating that the mother has given birth to a child within 12 months of childbirth
The benefits pregnant- and mother-workers are entitled to include:
- Prenatal allowances in two payments XAF 8.100 (USD 0.013) after each medical examination
- Maternity allowance at 100% of their standard monthly salary or wages payable up to 14 weeks after childbirth (or right after being claimed)
The right to maternity leave is regulated under Cameroon's Labor Code. The relevant provisions are as follows:
- All female workers that have a record of three months or more of active employment service are entitled to statutory maternity leave
- The right to maternity leave does not apply to certain classes of workers, including:
- Civil servants
- Military and police personnel
- The Lao Front for National Construction and similar mass organizations
- All female workers are entitled to up to 90 days of maternity leave, at least 42 days after childbirth.
- Leaves for pregnancy-related illnesses or complications are not addressed in Cameroon's law. Still, under certain situations and after supplying approved medical certifications, female workers suffering from pregnant-related complications can apply for an additional leave of at least 30 days at a 50% rate of their salary or wage. For miscarriages, only approved doctors can decide how long an extended maternity leave should be for a female worker suffering from this complication.
- A female worker's maternity leave can be increased by two days for each child under six years upon the leave date. They may also receive one day only if such a worker's accrued leave doesn't exceed six days.
- The increase in maternity leave depends on service longevity.
- Additional maternity leaves of up to 12 days are paid at 50% of their salary or wages, agreed upon between employers and workers.
The right to more generous maternity leave is already gaining more ground globally and is shown to increase productivity and happiness among workers. As an international employer, making your workers happy is critical for your bottom line. Thus, providing more generous maternity leave is not only about monetary costs but is a critical investment you make to ensure long-term business success and growth. In Cameroon, a generous maternity leave policy also aligns with a broader family culture and appreciation of family values — a strong perk you can offer to local employees and contractors.
Paternity leave in Cameroon
There are no explicit provisions for paternity leave in Cameroon. Instead, working fathers in Cameroon can take up to 10 days of paid leave to attend to urgent family matters.
Like in maternity leave, you, as an international employer, can provide more generous paternity leaves to attract and retain best-in-market talent.
Education & professional development leave in Cameroon
A worker or apprentice in Cameroon is entitled to up to 18 days of unpaid leave if they wish to participate in a course exclusively aimed at their education or union professional development. This also applies if the course is organized by a union-affiliated organization or by an organization approved by Cameroon's Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Education and professional development are yet another area international employers could fill in not only by offering more paid education and professional development leave options but also by providing custom and advanced development for more skilled workers.
Investment in worker education is not — as a common but mistaken "conventional wisdom" claims — a waste of an employer's resources. It is frequently shown to maximize every employer's human capital return on investment (ROI). Such programs prove beneficial for workers looking for more value and personalized benefits at work beyond monetary benefits and perks. This way, education and professional development benefits become more than just a "generous" leave from a "good employer." Instead, they are indispensable investments employers make to boost workers' happiness and productivity. An investment in people is an investment in your business's future.
Easily manage leave policy in Cameroon with Skuad
Having deep knowledge of and extensive experience in payroll management, leave policies, labor laws and regulations, and more in Cameroon, Skuad is your go-to EOR to optimize your leave policies well beyond basic statutory leaves mandated by law.
As an established and reputable employer of record (EOR), Skuad is best positioned to provide world-class employment services to international employers in many jurisdictions, including Cameroon.
By filling in national leave policy gaps, Skuad not only optimizes (and customizes) leaves per each worker's specific professional and personal needs but also helps to attract and retain best-in-market talent.
At Skuad, we understand a wide range of international labor markets inside and out. Thanks to our combination of in-house legal expertise, sophisticated HR software, and extensive market exposure, Skuad is one of the few EOR leaders who can make your hiring process smooth, quick, and compliant in Cameroon.
Talk to experts at Skuad to optimize your leave policies and maximize your overall human capital ROI in Cameroon and beyond.