According to section 36(1) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992, a contract of employment may be terminated without notice in cases of gross misconduct. However, gross misconduct isn’t the only reason for terminating the labour relation. All the circumstances giving rise to the exception to the notice requirement are as follows;
- Gross Misconduct: This permits the aggrieved party to terminate the contract of employment without notice. Gross misconduct can be manifested by both the employer and employee under a contract of employment. Gross misconduct from the employee perspective is seen in actions of insubordination or disobedience towards the employer during the hours of work whilst for the employer, it takes the form of non-payment of wages, inhumane treatment meted on the employee.
- Force Majeure: This is an eventuality not depended on the will of the parties and which results in an absolute impossibility to continue with the labour relation between the employer and employee. This eventuality does not allow the parties affected any latitude of giving notice. Force majeure may take the form of Act of God (Floods, earth quakes or similar natural calamities), Act of state (Administrative regulation or judicial decision) etc.
- Pregnancy: Besides providing for a period of 14 to 20 weeks of maternity leave to a pregnant woman around the period of her confinement, the labour code has further provided that a female worker whose pregnancy is medically certified may terminate her contract of employment without notice and without being obliged to pay compensation on that account. Such termination may not in any event give rise to damages.
Also, during the nursing period, the nursing mother has 15 months during which she is entitled to a nursing break of 1 hour per day. She may also terminate her contract of employment without notice during this nursing period and will not be liable to pay compensation.
- Other Exceptions: As regards children and young persons, the legislator has offered some form of protection to fit their frail conditions. Thus, after the medical examination on the instructions of the labour inspector, if it is found that the work allotted to a child or young person is beyond his/her strength, the contract shall in the absence of a more suitable alternative be terminated without notice and without either party being responsible for compensation.