The duties of the worker are binding on him during the contract of employment. But some duties like those which touch on trust and confidentiality will be binding on the worker even after the termination of the labour relation. Nevertheless, the most important duty of a worker remains that of providing the services required by the employer for the job. These duties are as follows;

  • The duty to serve: The employee’s central obligation is to work. In a contract of employment, the worker agrees to put his labour force at the disposal and control of the employer. Hence the worker must be willing and ready to work. This duty is attached to the intuitu personae element of a contract of employment in the sense that the worker is supposed to furnish his services individually. He can only delegate his functions with the approval of the employer.
  • The duty of subordination: an employee is bound to obey the orders of the employer in line with his contract of employment in Cameroon. This gives the employer the prerogative to summarily dismiss the employee if he refuses to comply with the orders of his job. A refusal may also not be so fundamental a rejection of the contract as to justify rescission by way of dismissal.
  • The duty to indemnify: This is a two way duty. First the employee shall be entitled to indemnity for cost and expenses incurred in carrying out his duty. The employee shall also indemnify the employer for loss caused to the later negligently by him in the course of his employment.
  • The duty of fidelity: During the contract of employment, the worker is to work only for the employer in the employer’s time. He must respect the employer’s trade secrets as well as disclose vital information to the employer which falls within the scope of the contract of employment.
  • The duty to account: the employee must account to his employer for all money and property received during the course of his employment. This is a fiduciary relationship between an employee and an employer.
  • The duty to disclose misdeeds: The employee may not have the duty to disclose his own conduct, but he has a duty to disclose or report the misdeeds of others especially where he is senior enough to realize that what they were doing was wrong and he is responsible for reporting on their activities.
  • Restraining from competition with the employer: The respect of the employer’s trade secrets form the basis of the employee’s duty of fidelity. This duty is still to be observed by the employee even after the termination of his contract of employment. It would seem that an invention by the worker would belong to the employer if the invention was developed in the course of the pendency of the contract of employment.
  • Non-disclosure of employer’s confidential information: The violation of this duty by an employee will amount to an action in damages against him and the recipients. However, it is important to distinguish between confidential information and the skills and experience which an employee has acquired in the course of his duty and which he may legitimately put to use in the future.
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