The contract of employment in Cameroon is used under the employment and labour relations to attribute rights and responsibilities between parties to a bargain. It emphasizes the power of the employer to control the work of the employee. Contract of employment is defined under section 23 of the Labour Code 1992 as “an agreement by which a worker undertakes to put his services under the authority and management of an employer against remuneration”.
In Cameroon, with the enforcement of the laws that guide employment relationship, a contract of employment in Cameroon must be signed and agreed by parties to the contract, when signed it becomes binding on the parties. Where there is a breach of the contract, the aggrieved party can enforce his rights at the Labour Inspector or in a case of Non-Conciliation, at the High Court within the jurisdiction of the aggrieved party.
The main legislation that regulates employment and labour relations in Cameroon is the Labour Code, Law No. 92/007 of 14 August 1992 Other legislation regulating contract of employment in Cameroon include;
The constitution of the Republic of Cameroon
Law No. 016/MTPS/SG/CJ of 26th May 1993
Order No. 015/MTPS/SG/CJ of 26th May 1993
ELEMENT OF CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT
The element of the contract of employment is dependent on the right and obligations of the employer and employee. An employer must give the employee a written contract as the provisions of the contract of employment regulate the relationship between employer and employee.
In drafting a contract in Cameroon it must contain the following according to the provisions of the Code:
- It must contain the name of the employer or group of employers
- The name and address of the employee, the date and place of his engagement
- The nature of the employment
- If the contract is for a fixed term, it must state the date the contract expires.
- The appropriate period of notice to be given by the party wishing to terminate the contract.
- The rate of wages/salaries and method of calculation, the manner and periodicity of payment of wages.
- Any terms and condition relating to; hours of work; holiday and holiday pay; incapacity to work due to sickness, injury and provisions for a sick day if any and insurance etc
- And finally any special conditions of the contract.
Generally, the important provisions to be included when drafting a contract of employment as contained in the labour code entail the following;
- The position: it is fundamental that when drafting a contract of employment, the prospective employee should clearly understand the position of the job, job requirements and the essential duties the service entails. The contract must not be ambiguous but clear enough to leave no doubt as to the expectations of the employer.
- Length of the contract: the employer must bear in mind that when drafting a contract, the interest of both parties is protected and favourable. For this reason, the contract of employment must dictate and stipulate conditions applicable to the employer and employee to extend, reduce or terminate the contract term.
- Compensation and means of calculation: it is fundamental that all prospective employers ensure that a contract of employment defines the wages and compensation of employees. When salaries are negotiated by parties, the wage must be specified and dictate the method of payment either monthly, weekly or if by the commission, it must state the percentage rate.
- Performance expectation and requirements: in a standard contract of employment, the performance review of the employee is usually inserted. These are performance measures for which the employer would hold the employee accountable. The production goals and revenue enhancement of the employer should also be included.
- Benefits and Severance: Before signing the contract, the employee benefits package should also be expressly spelt out where applicable, which includes health or other insurance offered, the percentage of benefit premium to be paid by the employee. It is fundamental that benefits such as holiday, leave, vacations, profit sharing and retirement plans for the employees are enshrined in the contract of employment.
- Termination of employment: the termination of the contract must be in compliance with section 34(1) of the Labour Code. The contract must make provisions of the intention of parties to terminate the employment on expiration or otherwise. Thus, a notice of termination must be given by the party of the intention to do so. The Court may impose damages against an employer for wrongful termination of a contract of employment.
In conclusion, a contract of employment defines the relationship that exists between an employer and an employee. For a contract of employment to be binding, the parties before signing contract of employment must agree to the contract. The purpose of having a contract of employment cannot be overemphasized. A well-drafted contract, which clarifies expectations, protects the parties in event of termination, resignation or wage dispute.
Article by Barr. Mafany Victor Ngando
“The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstance”