There are extrinsic circumstances which can give rise to the termination of the contract of employment in Cameroon. This is applicable to both the contract of specified duration and unspecified duration. Force majeure is an unforeseeable eventuality quite independent of the will and actions of the parties to a contract of employment which creates an absolute impossibility for the execution of the contract of employment. Such circumstances include earth quakes, floods etc.


In order to continue to earn a living through an employment, the worker scarcely alleges a force majeure on his part as it may terminate his employment.  However, the event which may be responsible for the in execution of the duties of the worker may arise either from the worker’s employment or quite independent of his employment.

  • Industrial Accident: industrial accidents and occupational diseases are mere cause for the suspension of labour relations. There exist provisions both statutory and conventional which stipulate that the worker’s contract of employment may be suspended ad infinitum (until recovery). However, the accident may lead to the permanent incapacity of the worker and in such a case, the contract of employment will be terminated and the employer will have to replace the incapacitated employee.
  • Non-Occupational Sickness: Ordinary sickness may give rise to the immediate termination of the labour relation if the worker is duly certified through a medical certificate to be permanently incapacitated.
  • Condemnation of worker to Imprisonment Term: According to section 32(i) of the Cameroon labour code of 1992, a worker’s contract of employment shall be suspended during the period of his preventive detention where he is awarded a non-suit or full discharge. But if the preventive detention is followed by an imprisonment term, the worker’s contract of employment will be automatically terminated.
  • Death: The death of a worker whether it is as a result of the employment or not will automatically terminate the contract of employment given that it is intuit personae in nature.


There are two circumstances of a force majeure which eventually affects the establishment and leads to the automatic end of the contract of employment. They are frustration and dissolution.

  • Frustration: frustration as a force majeure must actually be an event which renders the execution of the contract of employment impossible and not merely more onerous as explained by Lord Radcliffe in Davies Contractors Ltd v Fareham UDC 1956, AC, 696. The frustrating event must be independent from the will of the parties to the employment contract.
  • Dissolution: This amounts to the closure of the establishment. Closure of the establishment in this case must not be the fault of the employer such as the case of bankruptcy or judicial liquidation. Dissolution amounting to force majeure should be an act of the state or administrative closure of the establishment.
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