The period of notice before terminating the contract of employment is to enable the parties to alleviate the immediate consequence of the resiliation; the worker finding a new job and the employer finding a new worker. During this notice period, the parties are still bound by their respective obligations towards each other arising under the contract.
During the period of notice, the worker is entitled to a day off each week in order to seek for new employment per section 35 (2) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992. However, collective agreements may provide for better conditions.
If the reason for the worker’s resignation is to take up a job, he shall not be entitled to the day off. No damages shall be paid to the worker if the days are not effectively taken by the worker except where he is been improperly refused them. A worker can’t demand extra payment for the days off where he receives payment in lieu of notice since not only have those days already been paid for, but especially because he now has a whole period of notice instead of a few days only.
EXECUTION OF NOTICE DURING LEAVE
There are a few issues which arise when the notice is given during leave. It is perfectly acceptable for a contract of employment to be terminated during leave. Most collective agreements provide for a longer period of notice when the employer wishes to terminate the worker’s job during the period of leave. The employer must notify the worker of his intention not less than 15 clear days (Category I to VI) or one month before the worker’s departure on leave otherwise the compensation in lieu of notice shall be increased by 50%.
COMPENSATION IN LIEU OF NOTICE
The obligation to give notice may be discharged by payment in lieu of notice. The circumstances giving rise to the issue of notice may be such that the parties may not deem it in their best interest for the worker to serve out the period of notice. This may be as a result of strained relations between the employer and employee. Section 36(1) of the Cameroon labour code provides that the party responsible for the non-execution shall pay to the other party (usually the worker) remuneration equal to what he would have earned had he served out the notice period.